Direction of fit theories usually claim that beliefs are such that they “aim at truth” or “ought to fit” the world and desires (or intentions) are such that they “aim at realization” or the world “ought to fit” them. This essay argues that no theory of direction of fit is correct. The two directions of fit are supposed to be determinations of one and the same determinable two-place relation, differing only in the ordering of favored terms. But there is no such determinable because of ineliminable asymmetries between the way that beliefs “aim at truth” and the way that desires (or intentions) “aim at realization.” This essay traces the ills of direction of fit theory to a misunderstanding of Anscombe and proposes a cure that distinguishes theoretical and practical thought by appeal to a distinction between thought in the form of a state and thought in the form of an event.
Kim Frost; On the Very Idea of Direction of Fit. The Philosophical Review 1 October 2014; 123 (4): 429–484. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2749720
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