Deciding to trust, coming to believe

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):63 – 76 (1994)
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Abstract

Can we decide to trust? Sometimes, yes. And when we do, we need not believe that our trust will be vindicated. This paper is motivated by the need to incorporate these facts into an account of trust. Trust involves reliance; and in addition it requires the taking of a reactive attitude to that reliance. I explain how the states involved here differ from belief. And I explore the limits of our ability to trust. I then turn to the idea of trusting what others say. I suggest that we sometimes decide to trust people to be sincere and knowledgeable; and that having taken this attitude towards them, we come to believe what they say. I spell out some consequences that this has for an account of testimony, and for van Fraassen's decision theoretic principle of Reflection.

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Richard Holton
Cambridge University

Citations of this work

Trust.Carolyn McLeod - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Ethics of Expectations.Rima Basu - 2023 - In Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, vol 13. Oxford University Press. pp. 149-169.
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