Jason D’Cruz (University at Albany), chercheur invité au CRÉ, nous offrira une présentation intitulée « The Moral Stakes of Distrust », dans le cadre des midis de l’éthique.
« Il est plus honteux de se défier de ses amis que d’en être trompé. » contends La Rochefoucauld. But what could make it shameful to distrust a friend, or even to distrust a stranger when such distrust is unwarranted? Insofar as trust involves exposure to risk, distrust is a self-protective stance, an attempt to eschew vulnerability. What could be shameful about adopting this stance as a default?It is tempting to think of distrust as the inverse of trust, but I will argue that this impression is misleading. I maintain that distrust is not the mere absence of trust, nor is distrust the mere absence of reliance. Distrust has a normative dimension. A fitting response to the discovery that I have wrongly distrusted you includes remorse, apology, and requests for forgiveness. In contrast, false judgments about reliability occasion only regret.
I will present some preliminary ideas on what is at stake morally (as opposed to merely prudentially) in distrusting a person, and explore the role of the reactive attitudes implicated in distrust. Ultimately, I hope to shed light on the question of whether one can distrust or eschew distrust at will as well as the question of what it might mean to «distrust well ».