Is there an 'ought' in belief?

Josefa Toribio Mateas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


According to the so-called teleological view of belief, the idea that beliefs aim at truth is taken to mean literally that the subject, in believing that p, has a certain goal: The goal of accepting p only if p is true. In contrast, according to the so-called normative view, the claim that beliefs aim at truth is considered to be tantamount to the thesis that there is a constitutive norm of correctness governing belief. The normativist argues that the teleological view cannot jointly account for two standard features of belief: beliefs are often causally influenced by non-alethic considerations, yet we always feel we are moved exclusively by truth when deliberating whether to believe. In this paper, I first show that the normativist argument falls short of establishing that belief is norm-governed. Second, and more positively, I offer a teleological reply to each of the normativist objections, thereby outlining a novel teleological strategy that allows us to explain the aforesaid standard features of belief.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-90
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2013


  • Belief
  • Doxastic deliberation
  • Normativism
  • Transparency
  • Truth-norm


Dive into the research topics of 'Is there an 'ought' in belief?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this