Being Pragmatic about Trust

In Paul Faulkner & Thomas Simpson (eds.), The Philosophy of Trust. Oxford University Press. pp. 195-213 (2017)
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Trust should be able to explain cooperation, and its failure should help explain the emergence of cooperation-enabling institutions. This proposed methodological constraint on theorizing about trust, when satisfied, can then be used to differentiate theories of trust with some being able to explain cooperation more generally and effectively than others. Unrestricted views of trust, which take trust to be no more than the disposition to rely on others, fare well compared to restrictive views, which require the trusting person to have some further attitude in addition to this disposition. The same methodological constraint also favours some restrictive views over others.

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Philip J. Nickel
Eindhoven University of Technology


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