Trustful interaction serves the interests of those involved. Thus, one could reason that trust itself may be analyzed as part of rational, goaloriented action. In contrast, common sense tells us that trust is an emotion and is, therefore, independent of rational deliberation to some extent. I will argue that we are right in trusting our common sense. My argument is conceptual in nature, referring to the common distinction between trust and pure reliance. An emotional attitude may be understood as some (...) general pattern in the way the world or some part of the world is perceived by an individual. Trust may be characterized by such a pattern. I shall focus on two central features of a trusting attitude. First, trust involves a participant attitude (Strawson) toward the person being trusted. Second, a situation of trust is perceived by a trusting person as one in which shared values or norms motivate both his own actions as well as those of the person being trusted. As an emotional attitude, trust is, to some extent, independent of objective information. It determines what a trusting person will believe and how various outcomes are evaluated. Hence, trust is quite different from rational belief and the problem with trust is not adequately met in minimizing risk by supplying extensive information or some mechanism of sanctioning. Trust is an attitude that enables us to cope with risk in a certain way. If we want to promote trustful interaction, we must form our institutions in ways that allow individuals to experience their interest and values as shared and, thus, to develop a trusting attitude. (shrink)
The majority rule has caught much attention in recent debate about the aggregation of judgments. But its role in finding the truth is limited. A majority of expert judgments is not necessarily authoritative, even if all experts are equally competent, if they make their judgments independently of each other, and if all the judgments are based on the same source of (good) evidence. In this paper I demonstrate this limitation by presenting a simple counterexample and a related general result. I (...) pave the way for this argument by introducing a Bayesian model of evidence and expert judgment in order to give a precise account of the basic problem. (shrink)
In contrast to Axelrod's advice 'don't be envious' it is argued that the emotion of envy may enhance cooperation. TIT FOR TAT does exhibit a certain degree of envy. But, it does so in inconsistent ways. Two variants of TIT FOR TAT are introduced and their strategic properties are analyzed. Both generate the very same actual play as TIT FOR TAT in a computer tournament without noise. However, if noise is introduced they display some greater degree of stability. This is (...) due to the fact that they form, in a prisoner's dilemma supergame with suitable parameters, an equilibrium with themselves that is subgame perfect or close to subgame perfect. It is additionally argued that these strategies are exceptionally clear and comprehensible to others in that they conform to well known real live behavior patterns. (shrink)
Communication is an inherently strategic matter. This paper introduces simple game theoretic models of information transmission to identify different forms of uncertainty which may pose a problem of trust in testimony. Strategic analysis suggests discriminating between trust in integrity, trust in competence, trust in effort and trust in honesty. Whereas uncertainty about the sender's honesty or integrity may directly influence a rational receiver's readiness to rely on sender's statements, neither uncertainty about the competence of a sender nor uncertainty about his (...) willingness to invest effort has any direct impact on rational reliance on its own. In this regard, trust in honesty and trust in integrity appear to be more basic than trust in competence or effort. (shrink)
Trust is generally held to have three different dimensions or aspects: a behavioral aspect, a cognitive aspect, and an affective aspect. While there is hardly any disagreement about trusting behavior, there is some disagreement as to which of the two other aspects is more fundamental. After presenting some of the main ideas concerning the concept of trust as used in the analysis of social cooperation. I will argue that affective aspects of trust must be included in any adequate account of (...) the role of trust in social dilemma situations involving multiple equilibria. Cooperation in such situations requires coordination even though information on what another player might do is not available. A trusting person can handle such problems of cooperation by framing the situation in a way that goes beyond cognitive trust and solves what I shall call the problem of normative consent. I will conclude with some remarks about the design of institutions that foster trustful cooperation, especially in the context of the Internet. (shrink)
With increasing complexity of the networks of social interaction new and more abstract forms of trust are in need. A conceptual analysis of different forms of trust, namely interpersonal trust, trust in groups and institutional trust is given. It is argued that institutional trust cannot totally replace interpersonal trust. Institutional trust rather builds on more personal forms of trust in that it is primarily formed in personal encounters with salient representatives of the institution and presupposes trust in others trusting in (...) the institution. Any form of trust is grounded in some normative foundation. A trusting person can make herself vulnerable to the action of other individuals because she perceives those others as acting from shared aims or values. Thus, some sort of virtue is a prerequisite of any form of genuine trust. While institutional trust may in some respect be more easily acquired than interpersonal trust in general it may bear a fundamental problem: institutional trust may be extraordinary robust with regard to a wide range of behavioral experiences; thus, it may be enduringly maintained although in fact unjustified. In a concluding section the general analysis is illustrated by some reflections on the problem of trust in government. (shrink)
Social norms are based on social standards. The relevant standards come in two forms. Compliance with social standards of evaluation may be understood as goal-oriented behavior under the constraints of external and internal sanctions. Compliance with norms, which directly refer to specific ways of conduct, may not. Therefore, although norm-guided behavior may be consistent with utility maximizing, no satisfying account of norm compliance can be given within a Rational Choice framework or any other framework solely based on instrumental rationality.
Auf der Basis einer Klärung des Begriffs des Vertrauens zu klären werden mit dem Vertrauen verbundenen sozialen Probleme analysiert. Es wird argumentiert, dass Vertrauen emotionalen Charakter trägt, dass es eine gemeinsame normative Basis und eine teilnehmende Haltung der sozialen Akteure zueinander voraussetzt. Die Argumentation entwickelt sich ausgehend von einer entscheidungstheoretischen Analyse typischer Situationen, die Vertrauen erfordern, aber in kritischer Auseinandersetzung mit einer Position, die glaubt, Vertrauen sei in einer solchen entscheidungstheoretischen Analyse bereits vollständig zu erfassen. Vertrauen wird als eine emotionale (...) Haltung charakterisiert. Darunter wird ein mentaler Zustand verstanden, der seinem Träger ein besonderes Bild der Welt vermittelt. Auf der Basis einer genaueren Charakterisierung der Weise, in der ein Vertrauender grundsätzlich die Welt und seinen Partner wahrnimmt, werden unterschiedliche Formen des Vertrauens in verschiedenen sozialen Kontexten, vom Vertrauen in Wirtschaft und Politik bis zu Vertrauen in engen persönlichen Beziehungen, Selbstvertrauen und Gottvertrauen, genauer analysiert. Abschließend wird argumentiert, dass die Fähigkeit, Mitmenschen auf der Basis akzeptabler Werte im Vertrauen gerecht werden zu können, eine Tugend im aristotelischen Sinne ist. Sie ist mit rationalem Handeln nicht nur vereinbar, sondern fördert unter gewissen Bedingungen eine rationale Bewältigung des Lebens. (shrink)
The title of this special topic in RMM is borrowed from a 1978 paper of Hillel Steiner in which he argues against Robert Nozick's invisible hand conception of the emergence of the state. Steiner believes that central institutions of social order such as money and government need some form of conscious endorsement by individuals to emerge and to persist over time. -/- Tony de Jasay's critique (in Philosophy 85, 2010) of Bob Sugden's plea for a Humean version of contractarianism (see (...) RMM, Vol 0) motivated us, to take this old – but still central – theme of the debate on the origin of social order as one starting point in a new attempt to evaluate the idea of a social contract). -/- Within the 35 years since the publication of Hillel Steiner's paper different advances have been made in economics and philosophy that may well shed some new light on some of the fundamental issues in the debate about a contractarian conception of social order. These make us confident that a new attempt to explore the contractarian idea is well worthwhile. -/- Those who first motivated this project, Hillel Steiner, Anthony de Jasay, and Robert Sugden, as well as a number of other renowned scholars confirmed to contribute. The special topic will actually start with a previously unpublished paper by Hillel Steiner, originally written in 1986, in which he extends and elaborates on his argument about money from the 1978 paper, and with an original article by Anthony de Jasay, in which he further clarifies his worries. A response by Robert Sugden will follow. Further contributions will discuss the matter by reference to the roots of the debate in seventeenth and eighteenth century philosophy or to recent advancements in economics, the behavioral sciences or in social philosophy. Some of the contributions confirmed are already in a very elaborated stage and ready to be published soon. They are announced here right from the start and – for the time being – marked as 'to appear'. -/- As always, the special topic is an open ended project and further contributions will be considered; please send your submission to [email protected] (see 'How to Submit' for details). Also, readers are invited to submit shorter comments for the discussion section, which may be published after an abridged refereeing process. (shrink)
Faith in the sense of trust in God is discussed as a somewhat extreme case of trust. Trust in general is understood as an emotional attitude and determined by the way a trusting person perceives the world and the person trusted. Interpersonal trust as the most common form of trust is characterized by connectedness - the trusted person is perceived as acting according to norms, values or goals shared by the trusting person - and by a participant attitude in the (...) sense of Strawson. Trust in God differs essentially from ordinary interpersonal trust, as the asymmetrical relationship between God and a faithful person does not allow for sharing a normative basis of conduct in the strict sense of 'sharing,. Therefore, trust in God is 'categorical' in character: the faithful person acknowledges God's will as the ultimate and binding standard of normative value. Whatever happens, the faithful person perceives it as an expression of God's will, and, thus, as 'good'. (shrink)
A basic conviction in moral non-cognitivism is: only hypothetical norms may be justified. Hartmut Kliemt argues for a moderate variant: there are only hypothetical justifications of norms whether the norms are hypothetical or categorical in kind. In this paper the con- cept of ‘hypothetical justification’ is analyzed. It is argued that hypothetical justifications are not of the kind that we should look for in normative ethics.
Within the rational choice approach trust is usually analysed as a problem of choice under uncertainty. In a standard social situation in which trust plays a role a trustor A has to choose between trusting or mistrusting a trustee B. If he chooses to trust, B can either honour the trust given which will be of some advantage to both or exploit it no matter what the consequences for A are. A can in general protect himself against being exploited by (...) choosing not to trust. But then he forgoes the possible advantages of trustful co-operation. A´s problem typically is that he is not sufficiently informed about B´s incentives or motivation. He may, for instance, not know whether B possesses some favourable character traits or not. The paper uses the well known game of trust with imperfect information to illustrate the core of the problem. From a rational choice point of view the possibility of a trustful decision is determined by the beliefs of A concerning B´s preferences. Thus the crucial parameter in the model is a probability measure p that measures A´s subjective expectations that a rational B will co-operate. According to the standard rational choice account trust is either a consequence or simply the expression of the expectations of a trustee represented by p. I refer to this account of trust as the theory of trust as rational expectancy. I shall criticise this solely cognitive view of trust for neglecting some central aspects of trusting relationships. My argument draws on the distinction between trust and reliance. It will be based on some simple observations, in particular: 1. The perception of the choice problem by the trustor as well as his perception of the trustee and the trustee´s characteristics may depend on wether or not the trustor is in fact trusting or mistrusting. 2. The trustor´s evaluation of the possible outcomes may depend on wether or not the trustor is in fact trusting or mistrusting. 3. The motivation of the trustee will often depend on whether he is trusted or not. If my argument is sound, then - to some considerable extend - it is impossible to analyse trust problems solely in terms of options, preferences and believes. There simply are no preferences and believes of the interacting individuals which are prior to and independent of trust. Trust then must be understood as a cause or basis of a trustor´s expectations, and not as their consequence. I shall finish my considerations by pointing to some general implications for an account of trust as social capital. (shrink)
Naturalism, as Binmore understands the term, is characterized by a scientific stance on moral behavior. Binmore claims that a naturalistic account of morality necessarily goes with the conviction “that only hypothetical imperatives make any sense”. In this paper it is argued that this claim is mistaken. First, as Hume’s theory of promising shows, naturalism in the sense of Binmore is very well compatible with acknowledging the importance of categorical imperatives in moral practice. Moreover, second, if Binmore’s own theory of moral (...) practice and its evolution is correct, then the actual moral practice does—and in fact must—incorporate norms, which have the form of a categorical imperative. Categorical imperatives are part of social reality and, therefore, any moral theory that adequately reflects moral practice must also include categorical imperatives. (shrink)
While Rational Choice Theory (RC) may be understood as a theory of choice, which does not necessarily reflect actual deliberative processes, rule-following behavior is definitely based on a certain form of delibera- tion. This article aims at clarifying the relationship between the two. Being guided by instrumental rules, i.e., rules reducible to the maximiza- tion principle, is perfectly consistent with the fundamental behavioral assumptions of RC. But human individuals use other forms of rules in decision making, especially tie-breaking rules and (...) coordination rules. It is argued that within RC no satisfying account of such rule-following behav- ior can be given. In particular it is impossible to determine suitable pref- erence orderings such that coordinating may be understood as maximizing relative to these orderings. Still, once there is coordination, following a coordination rule may be perfectly consistent with the basic assumptions of RC. So there might be a more complex theory of action that incorpo- rates RC as well as a satisfying theory of rule-guided behavior. (shrink)
Kommunikation kann als eine besondere Form der strategischen Interaktion verstanden werden. Die Spieltheorie stellt ein formales Instrumentarium zur Analyse strategischer Probleme zur Verfügung. Einige Grundkonzepte der Spieltheorie werden vorgestellt, und ihre Anwendung auf Probleme der Kommunikation an einfachen Modellen vom Typ des Signalspiels illustriert. Es wird argumentiert, dass Kommunikation durch ein typisches Dilemma individueller Rationalität gefährdet sein kann. Obwohl eine korrekte Anwendung von Regeln, die die Verwendung eines verfügbaren Zeichens festlegen, für alle Akteure vorteilhaft wäre, gelingt es rationalen Akteuren unter (...) bestimmten Bedingungen nicht, die Regeln zu befolgen und entsprechende Konventionen zu etablieren. (shrink)
The extent to which trust prevails can be measured by the subjective probability with which an agent expects another one to act in desired ways. An agent´s trust in other agents forms in repeated social interactions which typically have the structure of an elementary game of trust. The process of trust formation in such interactions may be described by a reputation function. It is argued that in view of real world processes of trust formation any adequate reputation function must satisfy (...) certain conditions. A simple model conforming to these conditions is presented. Analysing this example it is shown that there is a co-operative Nash equilibrium in a trust supergame which is in line with the basic conditions of trust formation. However, it is also proved that no process of trust formation can be reasonably similar to real world mechanisms and at the same time lead to subgame perfect equilibria in a trust supergame. (shrink)
David Hume’s theory of social and political order as represented in Russell Hardin’s dual coordination theory seems to conflict with the idea of political liberty as defined in Benjamin Constant’s concept of the ‘liberty of the ancients’. In this chapter, I argue that the apparent tension vanishes once the role of moral approbation in Humes’s theory of the conventional foundation of social and political order is adequately taken into account.
Unlike the supergame model assumes agents in exchange situations will normally not be perfectly informed on past behaviour of their partners. Also, they will be able to choose their partners to a certain extend. A formal model is presented that attempts to take account of these facts. It is supposed that for any actor the probability of finding a partner for a lucrative exchange depends on his past behaviour. A model of reputation formation is presented as a formal description of (...) this interdependency. Based on this model it is shown that under certain conditions only co-operative conduct will pay in the long run. Thus it is confirmed that - given the mechanism of trust - rational agents may act trustworthy. (shrink)
A particular problem of traditional Rational Choice Theory is that it cannot explain equilibrium selection in simple coordination games. In this paper we analyze and discuss the solution concept for common coordination problems as incorporated in the theory of Team Reasoning (TR). Special consideration is given to TR’s concept of opportunistic choice and to the resulting restrictions in using private information. We report results from a laboratory experiment in which teams were given a chance to coordinate on a particular pattern (...) of behavior in a sequence of HiLo games. A modification of the stage game offered opportunities to improve on the team goal through changing this accustomed pattern of behavior. Our observations throw considerable doubt on the idea of opportunistic team reasoning as a guide to coordination. Contrary to what TR would predict, individuals tend to stick to accustomed behavioral patterns. Moreover, we find that individual decisions are at least partly determined by private information not accessible to all members of a team. Alternative theories of choice, in particular cognitive hierarchy theory may be more suitable to explain the observed pattern of behavior. (shrink)
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