Il fine della credenza
Many philosophers have argued that belief has an aim. This aim has been traditionally identified with truth. With such a claim these philosophers designate a specific property constitutive of belief characterizing the peculiar relation between this mental state and truth. This property would be able to distinguish beliefs from other types of mental states and to explain a series of other characteristics of beliefs such as, for example, the impossibility to believe at will and the absurdity of asserting so called Moorean sentences (such as “I believe it’s raining but it’s not raining”). In the present contribution I provide an introduction and a discussion of the thesis according to which belief has an aim. I first consider the claim that belief aims at truth. I introduce the main features ascribed to this property, I present several aspects of belief that the aim is supposed to explain and I consider the differences between this and other properties of belief concerning the relation between this mental state and truth. Then I introduce some interpretations of the thesis that belief aims at truth. Finally I outline the main lines of the debate between those who argue that the aim of belief is truth and those who argue that this aim is knowledge.