Assertion and Isolated Second-Hand Knowledge

Jennifer Lackey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

43 Scopus citations


A common view in the recent philosophical literature is that knowledge is sufficient for proper assertion. More precisely, it is frequently said that one is properly epistemically positioned to assert that p if one knows that p. This chapter argues that this thesis is false. In particular, it is shown that there are various kinds of cases in which a speaker asserts that p, clearly knows that p, and yet does not have the proper epistemic authority or credentials to make such an assertion, thereby showing that knowledge is not always sufficient for epistemically proper assertion. A diagnosis is then offered of what is salient in the cases challenging this sufficiency claim and a broad feature is highlighted that needs to be accounted for in any view of the norm governing proper assertion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAssertion
Subtitle of host publicationNew Philosophical Essays
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191595127
ISBN (Print)9780199573004
StatePublished - May 1 2011


  • Assertion
  • Epistemic authority
  • Knowledge
  • Quantity of epistemic support
  • Second-hand knowledge
  • Sufficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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