Trust and Distributed Epistemic Labor‎

In Judith Simon (ed.), The Routledge Handbook on Trust and Philosophy. New York: Routledge. pp. ‎341-353‎ (2020)
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This chapter explores properties that bind individuals, knowledge, and communities, together. Section ‎‎1 introduces Hardwig’s argument from trust in others’ testimonies as entailing that trust is the glue ‎that binds individuals into communities. Section 2 asks “what grounds trust?” by exploring assessment ‎of collaborators’ explanatory responsiveness, formal indicators such as affiliation and credibility, ‎appreciation of peers’ tacit knowledge, game-theoretical considerations, and the role moral character ‎of peers, social biases, and social values play in grounding trust. Section 3 deals with establishing ‎reliability standards for formation and breaching of trust. Different epistemic considerations and their ‎underpinning of inductive risks are examined through various communication routes within a ‎discipline, between disciplines, and to the public. Section 4 examines whether a collective entity can ‎be trusted over and above trust that is given to its individual members. Section 5 deals with the roles ‎technological artifacts play in distributed research and collective knowledge. It presents the common ‎view in which genuine trust cannot, in principle, be accorded to artifacts, so as an opposite view. We ‎show that what counts as a genuine object of trust is relevant to debates about the boundaries of ‎collective agency and as a criterion for extended cognitive systems.‎

Author Profiles

Boaz Miller
Zefat Academic College
Ori Freiman
McMaster University


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