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Hearers will accept what speakers say, and so speakers will reasonably expect hearers to accept, consider, or entertain what they say about objects or states of affairs not within the immediate perceptual vicinity of the interlocutors.

— The Reliability of Testimony, Peter J. Graham,
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research via JStor

What is the meaning of entertain in the above sentence. The only meanings of the word that I could find (Source) and are relevant here are to receive and to consider. But those meanings are already there via words accept and consider. Is there any other sense that can be relevant here, and cannot be taken to be already given via words accept and consider?

  • "consider" is good. To "entertain" means to listen, understand, think about, but not necessarily accept or reject. – Greg Lee Aug 10 at 17:36
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    On the one hand, the series "accept, consider, or entertain" can be understood as indicating a progressively weakening range of responses to a thesis—from acceptance of the thesis to weighing the merits of the thesis to merely receiving the thesis for possible consideration. On the other hand, the author may simply have engaged in overwriting—offering "entertain" as an alternative to "consider" in a situation where it really provides no greater insight or value than the writer would have achieved without including the third term. Such things do happen, even in academic papers. – Sven Yargs Aug 10 at 17:44
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    Please show evidence of research (this means showing what various online dictionaries say). I think that CED lists a (sub-) sense other than 'give full acceptance to' and 'at least consider as possibly true/profitable'. // The trouble with polysemy-with-hypernymy is that things get unwieldy and confusing when such words are used together. With the subsenses 'entertain' is allowed, this could logically (but not acceptably) be rendered 'speakers will reasonably expect hearers to entertain(a), entertain(b) or entertain(c) what they say'. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 10 at 18:08
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To entertain in this sentence means to accept something without knowing the truth and think about it and its consequences.. a good example would be...""A good phillosopher would entertain the imaginary situations "

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