Trust and obligation-ascription

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (3):309 - 319 (2007)
Abstract
This paper defends the view that trust is a moral attitude, by putting forward the Obligation-Ascription Thesis: If E trusts F to do X, this implies that E ascribes an obligation to F to do X. I explicate the idea of obligation-ascription in terms of requirement and the appropriateness of blame. Then, drawing a distinction between attitude and ground, I argue that this account of the attitude of trust is compatible with the possibility of amoral trust, that is, trust held among amoral persons on the basis of amoral grounds. It is also compatible with trust adopted on purely predictive grounds. Then, defending the thesis against a challenge of motivational inefficacy, I argue that obligation-ascription can motivate people to act even in the absence of definite, mutually-known agreements. I end by explaining, briefly, the advantages of this sort of moral account of trust over a view based on reactive attitudes such as resentment.
Keywords Agreement  Attitude-ascription  Blame  Morality  Moral requirement  Obligation  Trust
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Citations of this work BETA
Evan Simpson (2013). Reasonable Trust. European Journal of Philosophy 21 (3):402-423.
Thomas W. Simpson (2012). What Is Trust? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (4):550-569.
Philip J. Nickel (2012). Trust and Testimony. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (3):301-316.
Philip J. Nickel (2009). Trust, Staking, and Expectations. Journal of the Theory of Social Behaviour 39 (3):345–362.
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