What Is Trust?
Article first published online: 1 OCT 2012
© 2012 The Author. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly © 2012 University of Southern California and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly
Volume 93, Issue 4, pages 550–569, December 2012
How to Cite
Simpson, T. W. (2012), What Is Trust?. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 93: 550–569. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0114.2012.01438.x
- Issue published online: 6 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 1 OCT 2012
Trust is difficult to define. Instead of doing so, I propose that the best way to understand the concept is through a genealogical account. I show how a root notion of trust arises out of some basic features of what it is for humans to live socially, in which we rely on others to act cooperatively. I explore how this concept acquires resonances of hope and threat, and how we analogically apply this in related but different contexts. The genealogical account explains both why the notion has such value for us and why it is difficult to define.