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Communities of RespectGrounding Responsibility, Authority, and Dignity$
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Bennett W. Helm

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198801863

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198801863.001.0001

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Trust: A Forward-Looking Reactive Attitude

Trust: A Forward-Looking Reactive Attitude

(p.89) 4 Trust: A Forward-Looking Reactive Attitude
Communities of Respect

Bennett W. Helm

Oxford University Press

The reactive attitudes are often thought to be “reactive” in that they are backward-looking responses to wrongdoing that has already happened. This is a mistake that obscures the rational interconnections among the reactive attitudes. Rather, we should understand trust and distrust to be forward-looking reactive attitudes, so that in feeling trust we are thereby committed to later feeling approbation or gratitude when our trust is upheld or resentment when it is betrayed. Understanding trust in this way not only clarifies the rational interconnections among reactive attitudes. It also provides a compelling account of trust itself, including: the nature of trustworthiness and the rationality of trust; distinctions among personal, self, and vicarious reactive trust; the nature of welcome and unwelcome trust; and how trust can motivate the trustee to act in accordance with that trust. The Chapter concludes by helpfully blurring the distinction between emotions and evaluative judgments.

Keywords:   trust, trustworthiness, reactive attitudes, motivation, emotions, evaluative judgments

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