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Fricker, Elizabeth, , . Critical notice: Telling and trusting: Reductionism and anti-reductionism in the epistemology of testimony
1995, Mind 104 (414): 393-411.
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Added by: Jie Gao, Contributed by:

Abstract: In this review I focus on the arguments advanced by Coady in the main task to which he addresses himself in Testimony: arguing the case against the reductive position, and in favour of a non-reductive conception of testimonial knowledge. I introduce some distinctions which I believe enable the subject to taken further.

Comment: This review critically discusses the first book on testimony in contemporary philosophy and advances the dabates. It is a very good background reading for courses on epistemology or social epistemology. It saves students from reading Coady’s original book.

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O’Neill, Onora, , . A Question of Trust
2002, Cambridge University Press.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Simon Fokt

Publisher’s Note: We say we can no longer trust our public services, institutions or the people who run them. The professionals we have to rely on – politicians, doctors, scientists, businessmen and many others – are treated with suspicion. Their word is doubted, their motives questioned. Whether real or perceived, this crisis of trust has a debilitating impact on society and democracy. Can trust be restored by making people and institutions more accountable? Or do complex systems of accountability and control themselves damage trust? Onora O’Neill challenges current approaches, investigates sources of deception in our society and re-examines questions of press freedom. 2002’s Reith Lectures present a philosopher’s view of trust and deception, and ask whether and how trust can be restored in a modern democracy.

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O’Neill, Onora, , . Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics
2002, Cambridge University Press.
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Added by: Chris Howard, Contributed by: Simon Fokt

Publisher’s Note: Onora O’Neill suggests that the conceptions of individual autonomy (so widely relied on in bioethics) are philosophically and ethically inadequate; they undermine rather than support relationships based on trust. Her arguments are illustrated by issues raised by such practices as the use of genetic information by the police, research using human tissues, new reproductive technologies, and media practices for reporting on science, medicine, and technology. The study appeals to a wide range of readers in ethics, bioethics, and related disciplines.

Comment: Parts of this book are an excellent supplement to units on autonomy and informed consent in an intermediate-advanced level medical ethics course. In particular, chapters 1, 2, and 4 would be excellent additions to a unit on autonomy, and chapter 7 would be a similarly excellent addition to a unit on informed consent.

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Preston-Roedder, Ryan, , . Faith in Humanity
2013, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87(3): 664-687.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by:

Abstract: History and literature provide striking examples of people who are morally admirable, in part, because of their profound faith in people’s decency. But moral philosophers have largely ignored this trait, and I suspect that many philosophers would view such faith with suspicion, dismissing it as a form of naïvete or as some other objectionable form of irrationality. I argue that such suspicion is misplaced, and that having a certain kind of faith in people’s decency, which I call faith in humanity, is a centrally important moral virtue. In order to make this view intuitively more plausible, I discuss two moral exemplars – one historical and the other literary – whose lives vividly exhibit such faith. Then I provide a rationale for the view that having such faith is morally admirable. Finally, I discuss cases in which someone’s faith in humanity can lead her to make judgments that are, to some degree, epistemically irrational. I argue that the existence of such cases does not pose a serious objection to the view that having faith in humanity is a moral virtue. Rather, it makes salient important limits on the role that epistemic, as opposed to practical, rationality should occupy in our ideals of how to live.

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Rees, Clea F., , . Better lie!
2014, Analysis 74(1): 59-64.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by:

Abstract: I argue that lying is generally morally better than mere deliberate misleading because the latter involves the exploitation of a greater trust and more seriously abuses our willingness to fulfil epistemic and moral obligations to others. Whereas the liar relies on our figuring out and accepting only what is asserted, the mere deliberate misleader depends on our actively inferring meaning beyond what is said in the form of conversational implicatures as well. When others’ epistemic and moral obligations are determined by standard assumptions of communicative cooperation and no compelling moral reason justifies mere deliberate misleading instead, one had better lie.

Comment: This text works particularly well when used together with Jennifer Saul’s “Just go ahead and lie” (2012).

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Wee, Cecilia, , . Xin, Trust, and Confucius’ Ethics
2011, Philosophy East and West, 61 (3): 516-533.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Ian James Kidd

Abstract: Confucius frequently employs the term xin 信 in the Analects. The frequency of his usage suggests that xin has a significant place within his ethics. The main aim of this article is to offer an account of the roles played by xin within Confucius’ ethics. To have a clear understanding of these roles, however, one needs first to understand what Confucius encompasses within his notion of xin. The article begins by delineating the Confucian conception of xin, as presented in the Analects. The notion of xin is often taken to be isomorphic with the notion of trust. I argue that Confucius’ notion of xin does not quite map onto the notion of trust as usually understood in contemporary Western contexts. To understand better what Confucian xin amounts to, I compare and contrast the Confucian conception of xin with contemporary Western accounts of trust by Baier, McLeod, and Mullin. This comparison helps elucidate what xin is as well as how xin relates to morality. With this in hand, the roles that Confucius ascribes to xin in social and political contexts are then delineated.

Comment: Clear discussion of Confucian conceptions of trustworthiness and trust and their roles in the moral life. Useful for those who want to do comparative work with Chinese philosophy.

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Zagzebski, Linda Trinkaus, , . Epistemic Authority: A Theory of Trust, Authority, and Autonomy in Belief
2012, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Wayne Riggs

Publisher’s Note: In this book Zagzebski gives an extended argument that the self-reflective person is committed to belief on authority. Epistemic authority is compatible with autonomy, but epistemic self-reliance is incoherent. She argues that epistemic and emotional self-trust are rational and inescapable, that consistent self-trust commits us to trust in others, and that among those we are committed to trusting are some whom we ought to treat as epistemic authorities, modeled on the well-known principles of authority of Joseph Raz. These principles apply to authority in the moral and religious domains

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