I was recently at a conference. I attended one paper where the presenter kept using the expression, "I strongly assert…" as a means of premise-introduction. Once, it was used in the context of disagreement. And so: "Some say not-p, but I strongly assert p." I found this locution and its use jarring. It seems exceedingly dogmatic, and moreover, what exactly does 'strongly' mean, anyhow? Confidently, loudly, as though in ALLCAPS?
A question for the NS readership: What is the most charitable reading of this locution?
Here's my shot. In the event of a conference paper, you can't give an argument for every premise or every case where there's a disagreement. Conference papers require tight focus, and so the point is to argue where it is most important, and everything else is left to either bald assertion or apologetic bracketing. That's the art of academic essays. And so 'I strongly assert' stands as a proof-surrogate in these contexts. Now, I think it's a pretty awkward proof surrogate (as one can just as well, and less contentiously, say 'let's assume p, here'), but it at least isn't a major breach of argumentative practice.
That reading is my most charitable, but it still doesn't sit well with me. Any help from those more familiar with this phrase?