You are hereResearch Seminar: Neri Marsili, "The Norm of Assertion: A Constitutive Norm?"

Research Seminar: Neri Marsili, "The Norm of Assertion: A Constitutive Norm?"

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22 Dec 2017 10:00
22 Dec 2017 12:00
Europe/Rome

Abstract: According to Williamson’s influential hypothesis, assertion is subject to a single constitutive norm, taking the form: “One must: assert that p only if p has C”. This paper argues that a rule construed in this way cannot be constitutive of assertion in any sense that is relevant for the philosophical debate.
First, I compare Williamson’s account of constitutive norms with the ‘orthodox’ account, showing that the term ‘constitutive’ is used in a novel way. I argue that the extent of the terminological revision is not clear, and I show that different scholars interpret the revision differently.
Second, I consider two ways in which scholars have interpreted the claim that the norm is constitutive: (i) as a constitutive norm in the orthodox sense; (ii) as a regulative norm that has some ‘constitutive’ features. I show that the former interpretation is incompatible with the hypothesis, whereas the latter weakens the hypothesis significantly, and fails to meet several desiderata that are important for the current debate. I conclude that we are better off abandoning the misleading claim that assertion is governed by a constitutive norm.

The session is pre-read: see attachment.

Venue: Sala Rossa, via Azzo Gardino 23

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