PERITIA Special Issue on Vulnerability and Trust

A new Special Issue on Vulnerability and Trust led by UCD researchers Maria Baghramian, Danielle Petherbridge and Rowland Stout has been published in the International Journal of Philosophical Studies. The articles address issues arising from four aspects of the relationship between vulnerability and trust:

  • how to characterize the affective nature of trust;
  • how to explain the ethical demands that arise from deliberately making yourself vulnerable by trusting someone;
  • the application of this to the question of the epistemic vulnerability involved in communication;
  • trust and distrust of sources of knowledge in society.

The work tackles the need to investigate what Annette Baier (1986) called “the variety of forms of trust” and “the varieties of vulnerability”.

“In trusting someone you put yourself in their power to some extent, and in doing so, risk being harmed if they do not take seriously the ethical demands of having that power. In her ground-breaking article almost a quarter of century ago, Baier also announced that ‘What we now need to do, to get any sense of the variety of forms of trust, is to look both at varieties of vulnerability and at varieties of grounds for not expecting others to take advantage of it’,” the authors state in the introduction.

The lead article of this special issue is “Matters of Trust as Matters of Attachment Security” written by Andrew Kirton (2019 Robert Papazian Prize winner). Kirton examines trust as an affective state and explores how vulnerability in relations of trust “a product of our need for secure social attachment”.

“What is risked then is the security of our social attachments – a risk to our very sense of belonging – something that starts in infancy,” the introduction of the special issue reads.

PERITIA Prize winner

The special issue also offers articles by Robert Stern, Catriona Mackenzie, Sarah Clark Miller, Joe Larios, Casey Rebecca Johnson, Paul Giladi, Katherine Furman, Emily Sullivan, Max Sondag, Ignaz Rutter, Wouter Meulemans, Scott Cunningham, Bettina Speckmann and Mark Alfano.

The closing article “Vulnerability in Social Epistemic Networks” is the winner of the PERITIA special prize. In this paper, Emily Sullivan, Max Sondag, Ignaz Rutter, Wouter Meulemans, Scott Cunningham, Bettina Speckmann, and Mark Alfano, examine the nature of epistemic vulnerability within the virtual networks of social media.

You can read the introduction to the special issue here: Vulnerability and Trust: An Introduction