Trust as comfortable defocusing
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
This paper addresses the conflict between on the one hand the standard view of trust as expectations about the person trusted and about his or her motivations and one the other hand trust as characterised by an absence of thought about the motivations of the trustee. I argue that the standard view provides too much cognitive content into the mind of the truster and misconstrue the phenomenon of trust. The reasons that may motivate the truster to trust and the normative requirements on the truster are not characteristics of trust as such. There is no common set of expectations not even on the motivations of the trustee that applies to all cases of trust.
Instead I shall propose an alternative view of trust that I call trust as comfortable defocusing. On this view what is common to all cases of trust is the tendency to be defocused from the object of trust. Trust releases us from the need to pay mental attention to what has been entrusted. It is the belief that the object of trust is in the hands of another person that brings about a state of comfortable defocus over a matter that otherwise would be of great concern, worry or action. This account argues that to trust is to defocus from the object of trust as long as, and because it is, under the care of another person. It is this delegated agency and defocus that constitutes the nature of trust.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-5765OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-5765DiVA: diva2:10247
QC 20100713. Manuskript presenterat (men ej publicerat) vid bla. ESPP 2006 i Belfast (23-27 augusti) och The Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association 2010 Joint Session, Dublin (9-11 July).2006-05-192006-05-192010-07-13Bibliographically approved