ArgLab • Permanent Seminar

(Not Necessarily Credible) Deniability

Andrés Soria Ruiz (University of Barcelona)

The IFILNOVA Open Seminar heartily invites everyone to a talk by Andrés Soria Ruiz (University of Barcelona) on joint work with Bianca Cepollaro and Dan López de Sa.


‘Plausible deniability’ denotes a phenomenon whereby a speaker who has uttered a sentence that carries an inference i can deny having intended to communicate i. Plausible deniability appears most clearly in cases of insinuation, such as when a speeding driver tries to bribe a police officer by saying: ‘Is there any way we can settle this right now?’

In this talk, we explore the concept of ‘plausible deniability’.

Our purpose is mainly negative: we argue against various possible construals of ‘plausible deniability’, and specifically we focus on epistemic theories, according to which a speaker has deniability relative to i just in case they craft their message in a way that preserves uncertainty as to whether they really meant i. We finish by sketching an alternative, normative view of deniability.

Everybody is welcome!

For online participation, please use the following link.

This event is organized by E. Rast. The purpose of this seminar series is to give researchers a platform to discuss ongoing work and problems in the philosophy of language, epistemology, argumentation, metaethics, and related areas. For administrative inquiries, please contact Erich Rast at

Event supported by the Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundação para a Ciência e para a Tecnologia) of the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science under the project UIDB/00183/2020.