Philosophical Studies

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

Weighing the aim of belief

Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Epistemic normativity Aim of belief Deliberation 

References

  1. Hieronymi, P. (2006). Controlling attitudes. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 87, 45–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Kelly, T. (2002). The rationality of belief and some other propositional attitudes. Philosophical Studies, 110, 163–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kelly, T. (2003). Epistemic rationality as instrumental rationality: A critique. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 66, 612–640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Owens, D. (2003). Does belief have an aim? Philosophical Studies, 115, 283–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Reisner, A. (2008). Weighing pragmatic and evidential reasons for belief. Philosophical Studies, 138, 17–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Shah, N. (2003). How truth governs deliberation. Philosophical Review, 112, 447–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Shah, N., & Velleman, D. (2005). Doxastic deliberation. The Philosophical Review, 114, 497–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Steglich-Petersen, A. (2006). No norm needed: On the aim of belief. The Philosophical Quarterly, 56, 499–516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Vahid, H. (2006). Aiming at truth: Doxastic vs epistemic goals. Philosophical Studies, 131, 303–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Velleman, D. (2000). The possibility of practical reason. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Williams, B. (1973). Deciding to believe. In Problems of the self. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations