Trust, distrust and affective looping
Karen Jones (University of Melbourne)

April 13, 2018, 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Philosophy and Bioethics Departments, Monash University

E561, Menzies Buiding
Monash University
Clayton 3800
Australia

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Abstract:An affective attitude account of trust and distrust explains why trust and distrust are apt to be both self-confirming and to spread to new domains once they gain a foothold. In this paper, I explore the role of affective feedback loops in creating and sustaining trust and distrust. Some emotions, such as fear and contempt, drive out trust; others, such as compassion drive out distrust. The mechanism here is causal, but not merely causal: affective looping works through changing how the agent interprets the actions and motives of the other, thus making trust or distrust appearjustified. Looping influences not only dyadic trust, but also climates, and networks of trust. These climates and networks in turn motivate, by purporting to justify, either institutional change or institutional inertia. Not all trust-entrenching looping is virtuous, nor all distrust-entrenching looping vicious, but distrust looping is a powerful way to justify racist public policy.


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Leslie Allan
La Trobe University
Carlo Spada
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