Trust and obligation-ascription

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (3):309 - 319 (2007)
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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References found in this work BETA
Peter F. Strawson (1962). Freedom and Resentment. Proceedings of the British Academy 48:1-25.
Barbara Herman (1985). The Practice of Moral Judgment. Journal of Philosophy 82 (8):414-436.
Richard Holton (1994). Deciding to Trust, Coming to Believe. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):63 – 76.
Philip Pettit (1995). The Cunning of Trust. Philosophy and Public Affairs 24 (3):202–225.

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Citations of this work BETA
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.
Evan Simpson (2013). Reasonable Trust. European Journal of Philosophy 21 (3):402-423.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

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