Authors
Jorah Dannenberg
Stanford University
Abstract
When you offer your promise you expect to be taken at your word. In this paper I shift focus away from more familiar questions about the ground of promissory obligation, concentrating instead on the familiar way that making a promise involves claiming another’s trust. Borrowing an idea from Nietzsche, I suggest that we understand this in terms of a “right to make promises” – that is, a right to “stand security for ourselves,” held and exercised by those who possess the foresight and self-control to make only promises they can keep, and the strength of will required to keep the promises they make. Others recognize a person's right to promise precisely by taking her at her word i.e. by treating her promise itself as a sound and sufficient basis for the belief that she will do as promised. The main aim of the paper is to explicate and defend these ideas. At the end of the paper, I suggest how focusing on this aspect of promising brings to the fore some neglected problems of social justice, concerning the actual distribution of the right to give one’s word in our society.
Keywords Promising  Trust  Nietzsche
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Promising as Doxastic Entrustment.Jorah Dannenberg - 2019 - The Journal of Ethics 23 (4):425-447.

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