On the Epistemic Utility of What is Said

Sanford C. Goldberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Given a speaker who performed an assertoric speech act, what the speaker can be reported to have said (by way of a speech report of the form ‘S said that p’) depends on the context of the report. Insofar as the notion of what is said captures the content dimension of such reports, the result is that this notion is of little use to epistemology, and in particular cannot be used to capture the content dimension of those speech acts that are apt for the testimonial communication of knowledge. To capture such a dimension, we ought to replace the notion of what was said, with that of what was strictly said. I argue that there are epistemic intuitions, pertaining to speakers’ epistemic responsibilities in producing testimony, that can be used to constrain what counts as the ‘strictly said’ content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStudies in Linguistics and Philosophy
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameStudies in Linguistics and Philosophy
ISSN (Print)0924-4662
ISSN (Electronic)2215-034X


  • Testimony
  • context-sensitivity
  • what is said

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Philosophy


Dive into the research topics of 'On the Epistemic Utility of What is Said'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this