Annette Baier (1929 - 2012) was one of the most influential philosophers on trust in the last 100 years. Her work on the nature and ethics of trust has influenced just about every philosopher working on trust today, including me. But nobody is perfect. I was recently re-reading her essay "Trust and Anti-Trust" when I noticed a claim regarding the relationship between love and trust that I'm pretty sure is not quite right, or at least needs some significant qualification. Here's the claim:
As I've been reflecting on Elizabeth Anscombe's work on trust and testimony, I remembered some passages from Thomas Hobbes on similar themes, and I'd like to bring them into dialog with each other. In an earlier post I discussed Anscombe's distinction between believing a person and believing that what a person says is true, as well as her distinction between original and derivative epistemic authority.
In my last post, I reflected on Elizabeth Anscombe's 1979 essay "What Is It to Believe Someone?"; that essay is, more or less, a continuation of a line of thought she began exploring in her 1973 article "Hume and Julius Caesar," which is concerned with knowledge of history. In this post, I want to sketch Anscombe's argument in this earlier work, and raise a question or two about it.
Much of my research has been on trust, and on epistemic trust--that is, trust with respect to forming beliefs and making knowledge claims--in particular. Epistemic trust is an important issue in many sub-branches of philosophy, such as philosophy of science and philosophy of education.