Philosophical Studies

, Volume 145, Issue 3, pp 395-405

First online:

Weighing the aim of belief

  • Asbjørn Steglich-PetersenAffiliated withInstitute for Philosophy and History of Ideas, University of Aarhus Email author 

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The theory of belief, according to which believing that p essentially involves having as an aim or purpose to believe that p truly, has recently been criticised on the grounds that the putative aim of belief does not interact with the wider aims of believers in the ways we should expect of genuine aims. I argue that this objection to the aim theory fails. When we consider a wider range of deliberative contexts concerning beliefs, it becomes obvious that the aim of belief can interact with and be weighed against the wider aims of agents in the ways required for it to be a genuine aim.


Epistemic normativity Aim of belief Deliberation