Trust Towards Society’s Newcomers

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Karn Wasinsombut


Game theorists argue that trust is the solution to the prisoner’s dilemma. According to many game theorists, trust only arises and results in interactions in condition of reciprocal benefits. If both sides are strangers to each other, it will be harder for trust to arise than if they are acquainted, but this is still possible. If one party is a newcomer and the other is one of the locals, condition of reciprocal benefits may be difficult to achieve. It is because locals generally need not interact with newcomers and have no evidence of trust whether or not the newcomers will harm or betray them, while newcomers need to form relationship with locals to increase their chance of survival and settling down. Thus, the newcomers are more open to trust. When epistemic rationality for one party and practical rationality for the other are in tension, a question arises as to which form of trust can be a basis for cooperative interactions between the two parties. To answer this question, this article examines accounts of trust from game theory, cognitivist theories by Russell Hardin and Berislav Marušić, and non-cognitivist theories of trust by Annette Baier and Karen Jones, respectively. It reaches a conclusion that Jones’ account can be of an answer. Trust seekers have to display their commitments and abilities in response to trust offered, which in turn give trustors the basis for building up their optimism towards the former’s goodwill to an even greater level. This would strike a good balance between epistemic and practical rationality regarding trust for both parties.

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How to Cite
Wasinsombut, K. (2023). Trust Towards Society’s Newcomers . Manutsat Paritat: Journal of Humanities, 45(2), 17–49. Retrieved from
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