The Ethics and Epistemology of Trust

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2020)
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Abstract

Trust is a topic of longstanding philosophical interest. It is indispensable to every kind of coordinated human activity, from sport to scientific research. Even more, trust is necessary for the successful dissemination of knowledge, and by extension, for nearly any form of practical deliberation and planning. Without trust, we could achieve few of our goals and would know very little. Despite trust’s fundamental importance in human life, there is substantial philosophical disagreement about what trust is, and further, how trusting is normatively constrained and best theorized about in relation to other things we value. This entry is divided into three sections, which explore key (and sometimes interconnected) ethical and epistemological themes in the philosophy of trust: (1) The Nature of Trust; (2) The Normativity of Trust, and (3) The Value of Trust.

Author Profiles

J. Adam Carter
University of Glasgow
Mona Simion
University of Glasgow

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