Relationally Responsive Expert Trustworthiness

Social Epistemology 36 (5):576-585 (2022)
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Social epistemologists often operationalize the task of indirectly assessing experts’ trustworthiness to identifying whose beliefs are more reliably true on matters in an area of expertise. Not only does this neglect the philosophically rich space between belief formation and testimonial utterances, it also reduces trustworthiness to reliability. In ethics of trust, by contrast, explicitly relational views of trust include things like good will and responsiveness. One might think that relational aspects can be safely set aside for social epistemology of trust in experts, that such considerations may be relevant for personal relationships but not for expert trustworthiness. Against these claims I argue for the social-epistemic relevance of relational aspects of trust in experts, and to that end I discuss three sorts of considerations – responsively positive, neutral, and negative factors – that can make a difference for expert trustworthiness.

Author Profiles

Ben Almassi
College of Lake County
Ben Almassi
Governors State University


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