Trust and belief: a preemptive reasons account

Synthese 191 (12):2593-2615 (2014)
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Abstract

According to doxastic accounts of trust, trusting a person to \(\varPhi \) involves, among other things, holding a belief about the trusted person: either the belief that the trusted person is trustworthy or the belief that she actually will \(\varPhi \) . In recent years, several philosophers have argued against doxastic accounts of trust. They have claimed that the phenomenology of trust suggests that rather than such a belief, trust involves some kind of non-doxastic mental attitude towards the trusted person, or a non-doxastic disposition to rely upon her. This paper offers a new account of reasons for trust and employs the account to defend a doxastic account of trust. The paper argues that reasons for trust are preemptive reasons for action or belief. Thus the Razian concept of preemptive reasons, which arguably plays a key role in our understanding of relations of authority, is also central to our understanding of relations of trust. Furthermore, the paper argues that acceptance of a preemptive account of reasons for trust supports the adoption of a doxastic account of trust, for acceptance of such an account both neutralizes central objections to doxastic accounts of trust and provides independent reasons supporting a doxastic account

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Arnon Keren
University of Haifa

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