White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

Does belief have an aim?

Owens, D. (2003) Does belief have an aim? Philosophical Studies, 115 (3). 283 -305. ISSN 1573-0883


Download (326Kb)


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.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. This is an author produced version of a paper published in Philosophical Studies. The published copy is available from SpringerLink at http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1023/A:1025157101089
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Department of Philosophy (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 23 May 2006
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 21:46
Published Version: http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=arti...
Status: Published
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1023/A:1025157101089
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1212

Actions (repository staff only: login required)