Philosophical Studies

, Volume 145, Issue 3, pp 395–405 | Cite as

Weighing the aim of belief

  • Asbjørn Steglich-PetersenEmail author


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 



I am grateful to Jane Heal, Nicolas Espinoza, Veli Mitova, Johanna Seibt, Carl Erik Kuhl, Katrine Krause-Jensen, Raffaele Rodogno, and an anonymous referee for valuable criticisms and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Philosophy and History of IdeasUniversity of AarhusAarhus CDenmark

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