Vices of distrust

Carter, J. A. and Meehan, D. (2019) Vices of distrust. Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, 8(10), pp. 25-32.

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One of the first things that comes to mind when we think of the special issue’s theme, “Trust in a Social and Digital World” is the epidemic of ‘fake news’ and a cluster of trust- relevant vices we commonly associate with those who share it, click on it, and believe it. Fake news consumers are, among other things, gullible and naïve. (How many times have you seen someone share the increasingly dated and non-binding Facebook privacy message hoax, or a meme that includes a dramatic picture and a powerful looking statistic, but no references to that statistic?) Many are also dogmatic: intellectually and/or emotionally tied to a view point, and as a result, too quick to uncritically trust whatever aligns with it. Gullibility, naivety, and dogmatism are all examples of vices that lead to us trust when we shouldn’t. The effects of these kinds of vices can be dangerous. (So dangerous, in fact, that in August 2019, the United States F.B.I. for the first time listed ‘conspiracy theories’ as among the top domestic terror threats.) Our aim here, however, is to explore the other side of the coin: those character vices that lead us to refrain from trusting when we should trust. For ease of reference, call these vices of distrust. Vices of distrust are dangerous in their own right, and in ways that often harm others along with oneself. The three vices of distrust we want explore—with a particular focus on their manifestations online—are: closemindedness, emulousness, and arrogance. Each contributes to vicious distrust in its own distinctive way.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Meehan, Daniella and Carter, Professor J Adam
Authors: Carter, J. A., and Meehan, D.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 8(10): 25-32
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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