The practical rationality of trust

Synthese (9):1-15 (2012)
Most action can be explained in Humean or teleological terms; that is, in most cases, one can explain why someone acted by reference to that person’s beliefs and desires. However, trusting and being trustworthy are actions that do not permit such explanation. The action of trusting someone to do something is a matter of expecting someone to act for certain reasons, and acting trustworthily is one of acting for these reasons. It is better to say that people act out of trust, rather than for some end. Thus, teleological considerations do not suffice to trust. This is the negative claim of the paper. Its positive proposal is an account of the practical rationality of trust. The key idea is that in trusting one takes on commitments, not merely to act in certain way, but also to premise one’s practical reasoning on a trust-based view of the interaction situation.
Keywords Trust  Rationality  Practical reasoning  Norms  Trustworthiness
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-012-0103-1
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John Hawthorne & Jason Stanley (2008). Knowledge and Action. Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):571-590.

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