Trust-Based Theories of Promising

Philosophical Quarterly 70 (280):443-463 (2020)
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This paper discusses the prospects of a comprehensive philosophical account of promising that relies centrally on the notion of trust. I lay out the core idea behind the Trust View, showing how it convincingly explains the normative contours and the unique value of our promissory practice. I then sketch three distinct options of how the Trust View can explain the normativity of promises. First, an effect based-view, second, a view drawing on a wider norm demanding respect to those whom one has invited to something, and finally, as a new suggestion, a Normative Interest View. This view holds that promising is a normative power that serves our interest in facilitating or enabling the relationship of trust between promisor and promisee. I argue that only those embracing the third view can fully account for the distinctive obligation that results from the giving of a valid promise in all cases.



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Daniele Bruno
Humboldt University, Berlin

Citations of this work

Are all practical reasons based on value?Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2022 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 17:27-53.
Promising by Normative Assurance.Luca Passi - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (4):1004-1023.

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
Practical reason and norms.Joseph Raz - 1975 - London: Hutchinson.
Trust and antitrust.Annette Baier - 1986 - Ethics 96 (2):231-260.

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