Trust and belief: A preemptive reasons account

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


According to doxastic accounts of trust, trusting a person to Φ involves, among other things, holding a belief about the trusted person: either the belief that the trusted person is trustworthy or the belief that she actually will Φ. In recent years, several philosophers have argued against doxastic accounts of trust. They have claimed that the phenomenology of trust suggests that rather than such a belief, trust involves some kind of non-doxastic mental attitude towards the trusted person, or a non-doxastic disposition to rely upon her. This paper offers a new account of reasons for trust and employs the account to defend a doxastic account of trust. The paper argues that reasons for trust are preemptive reasons for action or belief. Thus the Razian concept of preemptive reasons, which arguably plays a key role in our understanding of relations of authority, is also central to our understanding of relations of trust. Furthermore, the paper argues that acceptance of a preemptive account of reasons for trust supports the adoption of a doxastic account of trust, for acceptance of such an account both neutralizes central objections to doxastic accounts of trust and provides independent reasons supporting a doxastic account.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2593-2615
Number of pages23
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Authority
  • Belief
  • Reason
  • Testimony
  • Trust

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Trust and belief: A preemptive reasons account'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this