The Constitutive Aim-Rule Approach to Assertion
주장에 대한 구성적 목표-규범 접근
- 인문대학 철학과
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 대학원
- Assertion; Constitutive Aims; Constitutive Rules; Flagrant Violation; Individuation of a Practice; Assertoric Commitment; Game of Giving and Asking for Reasons
- 학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 인문대학 철학과, 2017. 8. 강진호.
- This thesis presents the constitutive aim-rule approach to assertion. It is a critical development of the constitutive rule approach to assertion, an account which takes assertion as a kind of speech act constituted by its rules, just as chess is a kind of game constituted by chess rules. While this approach does seem to capture much of the nature of the speech act of assertion, it suffers from two serious problems. First, its core elements, i.e. the analogy between assertion and games and the notion of constitutive rules, remain unclear. Second, it even fails to achieve its own purpose: to individuate the speech act of assertion. So the task for the approach is twofold: to provide a definition of constitutive rules, and to find out some other constitutive elements of assertion which can individuate assertion jointly with constitutive rules. I aim to achieve these two tasks in this thesis, thereby reaching at the constitutive aim-rule approach to assertion.
Regarding the first task, I start by criticizing Timothy Williamson’s simple individuation account of the notion of constitutive rules. An essential feature of constitutive rules of a practice is that, unlike its regulative rules, they create the possibility of doing the practice. And Williamson tries to capture this point by arguing that constitutive rules of a practice are rule that individuate it. But I argue that Williamson’s attempt fails to distinguish constitutive rules from regulative rules, because there are individuating regulative rules. Also, I examine how the confusion between constitutive rules and regulative rules shapes the recent debates on the constitutive rule of assertion and drives the debate into a stalemate.
I then introduce Ishani Maitra’s notion of flagrant violation, and provide my own account of the notion of constitutive rules by critically developing it. Unlike Williamson, Maitra characterizes constitutive rules of a practice as rules one cannot flagrantly violate in doing the practice. And I believe that Maitra’s view is on the right track, because the notion of flagrant violation is necessary for understanding what it is for a rule to create the possibility of doing a practice. But, as I see the case, Maitra fails to provide a correct analysis of the notion of flagrant violation, because her analysis neglects the role of the judges. On my own analysis of the notion of flagrant violation, the role of the judges of a practice is crucial in determining whether an agent flagrantly violated a rule. Further, based on my own analysis of the notion of flagrant violation, I provide my own account of the notion of constitutive rules, thereby providing a solid basis of the constitutive rule approach to assertion.
Regarding the second task, I start by arguing that, even when we assume the distinction between constitutive rules and regulative rules, constitutive rules of a practice are insufficient for individuating the practice, because two different practices can be constituted by the same set of rules. So, there must be some constitutive elements of a practice other than its constitutive rules. Such elements are individually necessary and jointly sufficient for individuating the practice they constitute. Inspired by the example of games, I argue that constitutive aims are the only such an element except constitutive rules. In other words, assertion is individuated by its constitutive aims as well as its constitutive rules, just as chess is. Accordingly, I further develop the constitutive rule approach to assertion by claiming that assertion has its constitutive aims as well as its constitutive rules, thereby resulting in the constitutive aim-rule approach to assertion.
The discussion above forms the skeleton of the constitutive aim-rule approach to assertion. And, to flesh it out, I provide my own view about the following two questions: which rule is the constitutive rule of assertion, and which aim is the constitutive aim of assertion?
My answer to the first question is that the Truth Rule, whose form is “One must: assert p only if p is true”, is the constitutive rule of assertion. This view was defended by authors such as Matthew Weiner and Daniel Whiting, but I do not find their defense satisfactory. I criticize their defenses and provide my own argument for the Truth Rule. Also, I defend my position from criticisms given by authors such as Igor Douven, Jennifer Lackey and Timothy Williamson.
My answer to the second question is that what I call the establishment of a prima facie, defeasible evidential authority of what is asserted (establishment, in short) is the constitutive aim of assertion. I extract this notion from Robert Brandom’s commitment approach to assertion and his notion of the game of giving and asking for reasons, and argue that establishment is the essential effect of assertion, the thing we aim to achieve when we assert something. So my view can be considered as an attempt to combine the constitutive rule approach to assertion with Brandom’s commitment approach to assertion.
To sum up, the constitutive aim-rule approach to assertion is a further development of the constitutive rule approach to assertion in its form, and is a combination of the constitutive rule approach and the commitment approach in its content. By presenting this approach, I intend to give a plausible account of the nature of the speech act of assertion.