Trust in the Guise of Belief

International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (2):156-172 (2018)
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What kind of mental state is trust? It seems to have features that can lead one to think that it is a doxastic state but also features that can lead one to think that it is a non-doxastic state. This has even lead some philosophers to think that trust is a unique mental state that has both mind-to-world and world-to-mind direction of fit, or to give up on the idea that there is a univocal analysis of trust to be had. Here, I propose that ‘trust’ is the name we give to mental states that we would think of as beliefs if belief was to be thought of in ‘pragmatist’ terms and belief resists ‘pragmatist’ treatment. Only such an account, I argue, can univocally account for all the diverse features of trust. As such, I also propose that the explanation of trust provides us with a case for understanding the limitations of a comprehensively ‘pragmatist’, or ‘Neo-Wittgensteinian’ conception of the mental.



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Anthony Booth
University of Sussex

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