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The Philosophy of Trust$
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Paul Faulkner and Thomas Simpson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198732549

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198732549.001.0001

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The Problem of Trust

The Problem of Trust

Chapter:
(p.109) 7 The Problem of Trust
Source:
The Philosophy of Trust
Author(s):

Paul Faulkner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198732549.003.0007

Cooperation threatens to become rationally problematic insofar as the following conditions hold: reliance has a worst outcome—we rely and the other proves unreliable; the interaction is one-off; and we are ignorant of the other’s particular motivations but recognize a general motivation to be unreliable. The problem is that the satisfaction of these conditions is commonplace. Thus cooperation should be much less common than it in fact is. So what explains it? This chapter considers and rejects various game-theoretical solutions before canvassing a ‘trust-based’ solution. According to this solution the problem is dissolved once one recognizes how trust itself can give reasons for cooperating.

Keywords:   trust, trustworthiness, game theory, rationality, practical reason, cooperation, two-place trust

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