Trust and Trustworthiness

Philosophia 38 (3):615-627 (2010)
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Abstract

What is it to trust someone? What is it for someone to be trustworthy? These are the two main questions that this paper addresses. There are various situations that can be described as ones of trust, but this paper considers the issue of trust between individuals. In it, I suggest that trust is distinct from reliance or cases where someone asks for something on the expectation that it will be done due to the different attitude taken by the trustor. I argue that the trustor takes Holton’s ‘participant stance’ and this distinguishes trust from reliance. I argue that trustworthiness is different from reliability and that an account of trustworthiness cannot be successful whilst ignoring the point that aligning trustworthiness with reliability removes the virtue from being trustworthy. On the question of what it is distinguishes trustworthiness from reliability, I argue that the distinction is in the opportunity for the trustee to act against the wishes of the trustor and the trustee’s consideration of the value of the trust that has been placed in them by the trustor

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Stephen Wright
Oxford University

References found in this work

Trust and antitrust.Annette Baier - 1986 - Ethics 96 (2):231-260.
Trust as an affective attitude.Karen Jones - 1996 - Ethics 107 (1):4-25.
Deciding to trust, coming to believe.Richard Holton - 1994 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):63 – 76.
The Cunning of Trust.Philip Pettit - 1995 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 24 (3):202-225.
Trustworthiness.Russell Hardin - 1996 - Ethics 107 (1):26-42.

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