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  • Print publication year: 2001
  • Online publication date: July 2009

1 - The Importance of Intellectual Self-Trust



To what extent should we intellectually trust ourselves? Questions of trust arise about our opinions, and they also arise about the faculties, practices, and methods that generate these opinions. Moreover, there is a relation between the two. If I have trust in the reliability of my faculties, practices, and methods, I will tend also to have trust in the overall accuracy of my opinions, and vice-versa. Trust in one tends to transfer to the other.

Questions of intellectual trust also arise about other people's opinions and faculties, and they can even arise about one's own past or future opinions and faculties. Moreover, there is a relation between these questions and question of self-trust, for whenever one's current opinions conflict with those of others, or with one's own past or future opinions, there is an issue of whom to trust: one's current self, or the other person, or one's past or future self? However, one of the central claims of this work is that there is also an interesting theoretical relation between the two sets of questions. I argue in Part Two that the trust it is reasonable to have in one's current opinions provides the materials for an adequate account of the trust one should have in the opinions of others and in one's own past and future opinions. But in Part One, my focus is more limited.

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Intellectual Trust in Oneself and Others
  • Online ISBN: 9780511498923
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