The aim of belief

Philosophical Perspectives 36 (s16):267-97 (2002)
Authors
Ralph Wedgwood
University of Southern California
Abstract
It is often said, metaphorically, that belief "aims" at the truth. This paper proposes a normative interpretation of this metaphor. First, the notion of "epistemic norms" is clarified, and reasons are given for the view that epistemic norms articulate essential features of the beliefs that are subject to them. Then it is argued that all epistemic norms--including those that specify when beliefs count as rational, and when they count as knowledge--are explained by a fundamental norm of correct belief, which requires that, if one considers a proposition at all, one should believe it if and only if it is true.
Keywords Aim  Belief  Knowledge  Norm  Rational  Truth
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DOI 10.1111/1468-0068.36.s16.10
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