Matters of Trust as Matters of Attachment Security

International Journal of Philosophical Studies 28 (5):583-602 (2020)
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Abstract

I argue for an account of the vulnerability of trust, as a product of our need for secure social attachments to individuals and to a group. This account seeks to explain why it is true that, when we trust or distrust someone, we are susceptible to being betrayed by them, rather than merely disappointed or frustrated in our goals. What we are concerned about in matters of trust is, at the basic level, whether we matter, in a non-instrumental way, to that individual, or to the group of which they are a member. We have this concern as a result of a drive to form secure social attachments. This makes us vulnerable in the characteristic way of being susceptible to betrayal, because how the other acts in such matters can demonstrate our lack of worth to them, or to the group, thereby threatening the security of our attachment, and eliciting the reactive attitudes characteristic of betrayal.

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Author's Profile

Andrew Kirton
University of Leeds

Citations of this work

Trust.Carolyn McLeod - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Trust as performance.J. Adam Carter - 2022 - Philosophical Issues 32 (1):120-147.
Trust and Trustworthiness.J. Adam Carter - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Demoralizing Trust.Matthew Bennett - 2021 - Ethics 131 (3):511-538.

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References found in this work

Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Trust and antitrust.Annette Baier - 1986 - Ethics 96 (2):231-260.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 2003 - In Gary Watson (ed.), Free Will. Oxford University Press.
Deciding to trust, coming to believe.Richard Holton - 1994 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):63 – 76.

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