Il prisma della fiducia. The Prismatic Shape of Trust (1) PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 01 July 2019 00:00
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Cover Teoria 2019-1Questo fascicolo di «Teoria» vuole riflettere sul tema della fiducia a partire dal suo significato etimologico e tenendo conto dei molteplici ambiti in cui tale atteggiamento viene a giocare il suo ruolo nelle relazioni interumane. Si tratta del primo di due volumi di «Teoria» dedicati all’argomento. In questo fascicolo la fiducia viene approfondita in una prospettiva teorica e con un approccio multidisciplinare. Il prossimo si concentrerà su alcuni autori della storia del pensiero nei cui lavori tale questione è stata esplicitamente affrontata.

This issue of «Teoria» is a reflection on the theme of trust, starting from its etymological meaning and considering the multiple areas in which trust plays a role in inter-human relations. This is the first of two volumes of “Theory” devoted to the theme. In this issue the theme of trust is looked at more closely from a theoretical perspective and through a multidisciplinary approach. The next issue will focus on some authors of the history of thought in whose work this question has been explicitly addressed.


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Premise / Premessa, Adriano Fabris, Giovanni Scarafile
PDF (English), pp. 5-6




Scientific Experts and Citizens’ Trust: Where the Third Wave of Social Studies of Science Goes Wrong, Pierluigi Barrotta, Roberto Gronda
PDF (English) , pp. 9-27

Collins and Evans’s Third Way of Social Studies of Science is an ambitious attempt to counteract the de-legitimation of scientific experts that is going on in contemporary Western societies and which, on a theoretical level, represents an unfortunate consequence of the corrosive approach championed by many proponents of Social Studies of Science. Collins and Evans argue that the importance of science in technical decision-making should be defended on purely moral grounds, without having recourse to epistemic notions. The goal of this article is to criticize Collins and Evans’s moral defense of the role of science in democracy, and to point out that, contrary to what they believe, the notion of scientific expertise is epistemic through and through. Our pragmatist account of expertise revolves around the idea that being a scientific expert is a social status that is to be earned and preserved: scientific experts are those who are perceived as trustworthy by the citizens. We argue, therefore, that trust is a bidirectional relationship. Trust is a normative concept that puts constraints on the kinds of behavior that both citizens and scientific experts are legitimate to perform.


Unwelcome Trust, Justin Bzovy
PDF (English) , pp. 29-44

An account of trust or trustworthiness must also explain what is known as unwelcome or unwanted trust (Jones 1996; McLeod 2002, 2004). Unwelcome trust typically arises when the trustor expects a specific type of action from trustee, but the trustee, for whatever reason, does not want to do what the trustor wants. The existence of unwelcome trust raises a difficult question for any account of trust or trustworthiness. Which accounts of trust can best explain unwelcome trust? I show first how different accounts of trust and trustworthiness imply that we need two different models of unwelcome trust. The entrusting-rejection model explains unwelcome trust as a mismatch between how the agents perceive their relationship (Baier 1986; McLeod 2002, 2004). The sort of relationship that is being entrusted to the trustee is what is being rejected. The trust-rejection model of unwelcome trust, on the other hand, sees it as a matter of perceived coercion. According to this view, the trust itself is rejected, not whatever it is that is being entrusted (Jones 1996; Pettit 1995). I will argue, by way of some key examples, that unwelcome trust fits neither view, and that a disjunctive or generic account of trust is required (Walker 2006). I close by defending this thesis against two objections.


A Theory of Epistemic Trust and Testimony, George Christopoulos
PDF (English) , pp. 45-62

This essay connects the justification of trust and the justification of testimony. I provide a theory which entails that justified epistemic trust is a necessary condition on justified testimonial uptake. Two important desiderata of a theory of the epistemology of testimony are that it does not lead to generalized skepticism, nor is it susceptible to gullibility about important cases. The proposed theory of testimony doubles as a theory of epistemic trust that is better than alternatives. My theory posits two kinds of Epistemic Trust (ET): Affective and Cognitive Epistemic Trust (AET and CET). I argue both processes can be justified (JAET and JCET) and both can lead to justified uptake of testimonially-based beliefs. My theory of epistemic trust distinctly carves a role for subject stakes: when they are high, the evidential justification conditions on epistemic trust become more exacting on the testimonially-based beliefs they support.


«I Don’t Trust You, You Faker!» On Trust, Reliance, and Artificial Agency, Fabio Fossa
PDF (English) , pp. 63-80

The aim of this paper is to clarify the extent to which relationships between Human Agents (HAs) and Artificial Agents (AAs) can be adequately defined in terms of trust. Since such relationships consist mostly in the allocation of tasks to technological products, particular attention is paid to the notion of delegation. In short, I argue that it would be more accurate to describe direct relationships between HAs and AAs in terms of reliance, rather than in terms of trust. However, as mediums of human actions to which tasks are delegated, AAs indirectly mediate trust between users and other social actors involved in their design, manufacture, commercialisation and deployment. In this sense, AAs mediate social trust. My conclusion is that relationships between HAs and AAs are thus to be understood directly in terms of reliance and indirectly in terms of social trust mediation.


Placing Trust in Medicine by Dealing with Its Uncertainty, Francesca Marin
PDF (English) , pp. 81-96

The paper does not merely address the crucial role of trust in medical practice and the ubiquitous presence of uncertainty in medicine, as tends to happen in scientific literature; rather, it goes further by showing that problematic issues arise when the trust-medicine dyad is recognized without the acknowledgment of the medicine-uncertainty dyad, or vice versa. Firstly, it is argued that the trust-medicine-uncertainty interdependency is necessary because there is a kind of irreducible uncertainty due to the epistemological status of medicine, whose presence guarantees well-placed trust in medicine. In this respect, examples of misplaced trust in medicine due to considering medicine as an absolutely certain scientific knowledge and misplaced distrust in medicine as a result of an antiscientific view of medical knowledge are discussed. Secondly, the need for a triple pattern is proved to be urgent because medical advances, rather than diminishing medical uncertainty, are contributing to its increase and even generating new kinds of uncertainties.


L’esemplarità, inattuale proposta di senso esposta alla prova della fiducia. Un’analisi a partire da Bergson e Scheler, Maria Teresa Russo
PDF , pp. 97-116

The paper explores the category of exemplarity of which trust is an essential element, analysing it within its function of epistemic authority, hence in its trustworthiness and reliability, as well as a force generating trusting relationship, which create authentic social transformation, while encouraging the break of conformism and attachment to the own group. As essential need of human being, trust may, however, be declined in surrogates which produce forms of exclusive social cohesion, where reassurance is sought in expulsion of the stranger or even in war. Also, trust in an exemplar is not free from ambiguity, unless it is reported to objectivity of values witnessed by that exemplar: hence its “untopicality” within a relativistic context. The thought of Bergson on the closed society, in which trusting bonds are transfigured by some exemplary personalities, is compared with the reflection – a few years earlier – of Scheler on the exemplars “bearers of values”. Extremely actual considerations in sight of the recent “Exemplarist ethics” suggested by Zagbeski as alternative to eudaimonistic and normative ethics.


Fiducia e virtù, Giacomo Samek Lodovici
PDF , pp. 117-136

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate some aspects of the relationship between virtue and trust.  First, it mentions the nature of virtues and sets out a concept of reliance and trust (in its relationship with the virtue of hope). Then, it underlines the need for trust in interpersonal and social life and as the foundation of the social bond, as well as its capacity (for various reasons) to generate the reliability of the trustee (even when it has already been betrayed) and, conversely, underlines the harmfulness of distrust and of pervasive controls, which tend precisely to increase those behaviors that would like to prevent.Finally, it expresses itself on the most virtuous trust, the generative one, on the relationship between trust and the genesis and the apex of virtue, which culminates in love and friendship.


Trust, Implicit Attitudes, and the Malleability of Group Identities, Sarah Songhorian
PDF (English) , pp. 137-155

Several empirical evidences suggest that our group identity modulates our trusting attitudes, even when groups are created arbitrarily in the lab. Hence, group are malleable entities. While it clearly bears huge risks of malevolent manipulation, this malleability can also be an opportunity: it seems at least theoretically possible to manipulate the sense of belonging
– and the automatic trust that follows from it – so as to include people that were previously conceived of as belonging to other groups.

I will, thus, investigate two lines of research to be used to show that there are several implicit drives that actually modulate our trusting attitudes. From this, a revision of our ordinary conceptualization of trust seems necessary. Hence, I proposed a two-level characterization of trust that would better serve the purposes of accounting for the data discussed and for the role trust can and should play in ethics.


Linking Faith and Trust: Of Contracts and Covenants, Ionut Untea
PDF (English) , pp. 157-178

Trust is so intimately linked with faith that sometimes trust needs faith to unfold in a relationship. I argue that the role of this faith element in trust is to elevate the status of the one in which we trust so as to emphasize the equal dignity of all the participants in the relationship of trust. Against views that focus on a «rational» trust based on an exaggerated emphasis on the capacity of self-trust as a point of departure for the trust in others, the essay develops toward the depiction of a kind of trust that is rooted in faith and still maintains a «reasonable» character. By way of discussing the implications of Thomas Hobbes’s reflections on covenants and contracts, and Annette Baier’s critique of what she sees as the Hobbesian «fixation» on contracts, I argue toward the identification of what I call a «covenantal trust» in contemporary political ontology.


Law and its Imitations in Plato’s Statesman, Paolo Crivelli
PDF (English) , pp. 181-216

In the Statesman Plato identifies the art of the statesman with a highly specialized branch of knowledge. It is this knowledge that must have the highest authority in the state: all other forms of organized society are merely imitations of the society based on the statesman’s knowledge, which is the only genuine constitution. The concept of imitation is applied not only to describe the relationship between the genuine constitution and other types of organized society, but also to the relationship between the statesman and everyday politicians and to the relationship between the statesman’s knowledge and law. It turns out that these three applications of the concept of imitation are reciprocally connected. Plato explicitly argues that everday politicians are imitations of the genuine statesman because everyday societies are imitations of the genuine constitution. This study explores the possibility that everyday societies could be imitations of the genuine constitution because law is an imitation of the statesman’s knowledge.


Che cos’è un atto d’impegno? Husserl e Reinach sul “soggetto di livello superiore” (Noi) e gli atti (non) sociali, Petar Bojanić
PDF , pp. 217-230

My intention is to describe one kind of “social act” that I have called “engaged act” (and which should be different from “joint commitment” although the English ‘commitment’ is often translated into German or French as engagement). I wish to uncover and demarcate these engaged acts in Husserl’s endeavor to define and de facto establish social acts as such. My parallel tasks would be: to show the importance of social acts in the construction of some kind of new entities, which it is always problematic to name; to distinguish social acts as clearly as possible from empathy; to name some social acts “engaged acts” thus alleviating and clarifying Husserl’s efforts in the course of determining social acts; and to re-evaluate Adolf Reinach’s contribution to defining social acts in comparison with Husserl.


L’appartenance. Vers une théorie de la chair, Renaud Barbaras
PDF (Français), pp. 231-244

This paper aims at showing that our lived body (chair, Leib), which is one of the most important topics of phenomenology, is not so much a question as an answer, answer to a question that remains implicit: that of belonging. It is not for having a body that we belong to the world; on the contrary, we have a body in so far as we belong to the world. Moreover, if the world is that which contains everything, in such a way that an existence out of the world is meaningless, we must conclude that any being belongs to the world and that the difference betweeen beings refers to their way of belonging. But, in so far as any belonging involves a ground, a philosophy of belonging leads out into a phenomenology of space, that distinguishes as many spaces as ways of belonging. Accordingly, the problem raised by the lived body is the following: what is the way of belonging of that being thanks to which the world itself appears?


Le “problème” des mathématiques, Jean-Michel Salanskis
PDF (Français), pp. 245-268

This paper sustains that mathematics is a deep source of difficulties for philosophy of science in general. First, it is not easy for philosophy, while recognizing what it owes to mathematics, to locate itself with respect to it. Second, the main debate of philosophy of science – which opposes realism and something like projective rationalism – is governed by how we understand the role of mathematics. Third, we have to refer to mathematics in order to build a correct picture of informational revolution, even if mathematics could count as a reason for resisting that revolution.

In its last part, the paper explains all these difficulties as rooted in the exceptional way mathematics satisfies the demands of truth.