On the Risks of Resting Assured: An Assurance Theory of Trust

In Tom Simpson Paul Faulkner (ed.), New Philosophical Essays on Trust. Oxford University Press (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


An assurance theory of trust begins from the act of assurance – whether testimonial, advisorial or promissory – and explains trust as a cognate stance of resting assured. My version emphasizes the risks and rewards of trust. On trust’s rewards, I show how an assurance can give a reason to the addressee through a twofold exercise of ‘normative powers’: (i) the speaker thereby incurs an obligation to be sincere; (ii) if the speaker is trustworthy, she thereby gives her addressee the reason. Each claim is controversial; my contribution lies in how I defend them together, linking the sincerity obligation to the provision of reasons. On trust’s risks, I defend a popular thesis about the nature of trust – that trust differs from mere reliance in how it risks betrayal – against the objection that the thesis ‘moralizes’ trust. Such betrayal need not be moral, I argue, because it may derive entirely from how the assurance purports to provide a reason.

Author's Profile

Edward Hinchman
Florida State University


Added to PP

69 (#91,291)

6 months
36 (#90,372)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?