Philosophical Studies

, Volume 163, Issue 2, pp 453–457 | Cite as

A defence of Owens’ exclusivity objection to beliefs having aims

  • Ema Sullivan-Bissett
  • Paul Noordhof


In this paper we argue that Steglich-Petersen’s response to Owens’ Exclusivity Objection does not work. Our first point is that the examples Steglich-Petersen uses to demonstrate his argument do not work because they employ an undefended conception of the truth aim not shared by his target (and officially eschewed by Steglich-Petersen himself). Secondly we will make the point that deliberating over whether to form a belief about p is not part of the belief forming process. When an agent enters into this process of deliberation, he has not, contra Steglich-Petersen, already adopted the truth aim with regard to p. In closing, we further suggest that proponents of the truth aim hypothesis need to focus on aim-guidance, not mere aim attribution, for their approach to have explanatory utility so underlining the significance of Owens’ argument.


Belief Aim Truth 


  1. Owens, D. J. (2003). Does belief have an aim? Philosophical Studies, 115, 283–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Steglich-Petersen, A. (2009). Weighing the aim of belief. Philosophical Studies, 145, 395–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of YorkYorkUnited Kingdom

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