Does Belief Have an Aim?
- David John Owens
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
The hypothesis that belief aims at the truth has been used to explain three features of belief: (1) the fact that correct beliefs are true beliefs, (2) the fact that rational beliefs are supported by the evidence and (3) the fact that we cannot form beliefs `at will’. I argue that the truth-aim hypothesis cannot explain any of these facts. In this respect believing differs from guessing since the hypothesis that guessing aims at the truth can explain the three analogous features of guessing. I conclude that, unlike guessing, believing is not purposive in any interesting sense.
- Cohen, J. (1974): ‘Guessing’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 74, 189–210.
- Foley, R. (1993): Working Without a Net, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Foley, R. (2001): ‘The Foundational Role of Epistemology in General Theory of Rationality’, in Fairweather and Zagzebski (eds.), Virtue Epistemology, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Goldman, A. (1980): ‘The Internalist Conception of Justification’, in French, Uehling and Wettstein (eds.), Midwest Studies in Philosophy V, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.
- Harman, G. (1999): Reasoning, Meaning and Mind, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Humberstone, L. (1992):’Direction of Fit’, Mind 101, 59–83.
- James, W. (1956): The Will to Believe, New York: Dover.
- Kaplan, M. (1981):’A Bayesian Theory of Rational Acceptance’, Journal of Philosophy 78, 305–330.
- Nozick, R. (1993): The Nature of Rationality, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
- Owens, D. (2000): Reason Without Freedom, London: Routledge.
- Papineau, D. (1999):’Normativity and Judgement’, in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume LXXIII (pp. 17–43).
- Pink, T. (1996): The Psychology of Freedom, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Railton, P. (1994):’Truth, Reason and the Regulation of Belief’, Philosophical Issues 5, 71–93.
- Railton, P. (1997):’On the Hypothetical and non-Hypothetical in Reasoning About Belief and Action’, in Cullity and Gaut (eds.), Ethics and Practical Reason, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Sosa, E. (2001):’For the Love of Truth?’ in Fairweather and Zagzebski (eds.), Virtue Epistemology, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Velleman, D. (2000): The Possibility of Practical Reason, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Wedgwood, R. (2002):’The Aim of Belief’, Philosophical Perspectives 16, Language and Mind, 267–297.
- Williams, B. (1973):’Deciding to Believe’, in his Problems of the Self, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Williams, B. (1978): Descartes: The Project of Pure Inquiry, London: Penguin.
- Williamson, T. (2000): Knowledge and its Limits, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Does Belief Have an Aim?
Volume 115, Issue 3 , pp 283-305
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- David John Owens (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Philosophy, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK (E-mail