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A paradigm-based explanation of trust


Bieber, Friedemann; Viehoff, Juri (2022). A paradigm-based explanation of trust. Synthese, 201(1):2.

Abstract

This article offers a functionalist account of trust. It argues that a particular form of trust—Communicated Interpersonal Trust—is paradigmatic and lays out how trust as a social practice in this form helps to satisfy fundamental practical, deliberative, and relational human needs in mutually reinforcing ways. We then argue that derivative (non-paradigmatic) forms of trust connect to the paradigm by generating a positive dynamic between trustor and trustee that is geared towards the realization of these functions. We call this trust’s proleptic potential. Our functionalist approach does not only provide important insights into the practice of trust and its place in the broader web of social life, but also illuminates existing philosophical debates. First, pointing out how opposing theoretical accounts of trust each capitalise on only one of its functions, our paradigm-based approach reveals why they each contain a kernel of truth but are also deficient: the optimal realization of each function is tied to the existence of the other functions as well. Second, we show how a functionalist re-orientation can illuminate two recent disputes regarding (i) the question whether trust is explanatorily two- or three-place and (ii) whether (and to what extent) we can decide to trust others.

Abstract

This article offers a functionalist account of trust. It argues that a particular form of trust—Communicated Interpersonal Trust—is paradigmatic and lays out how trust as a social practice in this form helps to satisfy fundamental practical, deliberative, and relational human needs in mutually reinforcing ways. We then argue that derivative (non-paradigmatic) forms of trust connect to the paradigm by generating a positive dynamic between trustor and trustee that is geared towards the realization of these functions. We call this trust’s proleptic potential. Our functionalist approach does not only provide important insights into the practice of trust and its place in the broader web of social life, but also illuminates existing philosophical debates. First, pointing out how opposing theoretical accounts of trust each capitalise on only one of its functions, our paradigm-based approach reveals why they each contain a kernel of truth but are also deficient: the optimal realization of each function is tied to the existence of the other functions as well. Second, we show how a functionalist re-orientation can illuminate two recent disputes regarding (i) the question whether trust is explanatorily two- or three-place and (ii) whether (and to what extent) we can decide to trust others.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology and the Study of Religion > Center for Ethics
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Philosophy
Social Sciences & Humanities > General Social Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:trust paradigm-based explanation functionalism
Language:English
Date:17 December 2022
Deposited On:04 Jan 2023 08:04
Last Modified:30 Jan 2024 02:36
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0039-7857
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-022-03993-4
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID162776
  • : Project TitleThe Anatomy of Systemic Financial Risk: Combining Ethical, Political and Economic Dimensions for Public Policy
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)