Negotiating Domains of Trust

Philosophical Psychology 35 (2022)
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When trust is broken, how should we determine who is at fault? Previous discus- sions of broken trust typically attribute the fault to trusters who place trust foolishly or trustees who act in an untrustworthy manner. These discussions take for granted the ability of the truster and trustee to communicate and understand the boundaries of what is being entrusted, that is, the domain of trust. However, the boundaries of entrusted domains are not always clear to either party which can result in broken trust despite the best efforts of both truster and trustee. In this paper, I argue that deter- mining who to blame when trust is broken is a messy affair in which disagreements over fault regularly arise. I introduce three features of trust domains that take center stage in negotiations regarding who is at fault when trust is broken: scope, rigidity and ordering.

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Elizabeth Stewart
Howard University


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