A speaker's use of a declarative sentence in a context has two effects: it expresses a proposition and represents the speaker as knowing that proposition. This article is about how to explain the second effect. The standard explanation is act-based. A speaker is represented as knowing because their use of a declarative in a context tokens the act-type of assertion and assertions represent knowledge in what's asserted. In this article, a semantic explanation is proposed according to which declaratives covertly host a know-parenthetical. A speaker is thereby represented as knowing the proposition expressed because that is the semantic contribution of the parenthetical. This view is called PARENTHETICALISM. The article contends that parentheticalism better explains knowledge representation than alternatives. As a consequence of outperforming assertoric explanations, parentheticalism opens the door to altogether eliminating the act-type of assertion from linguistic theorizing.
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Research Article| January 01 2021
Peter van Elswyk; Representing Knowledge. The Philosophical Review 1 January 2021; 130 (1): 97–143. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00318108-8699695
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