Date of Award

May 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Peter van Elswyk

Committee Members

Nataliya Palatnik, Stanislaus Husi


In this paper, I argue the two examples present a problem for two accounts of promising, and in light of these problems, I create the beginning of an alternative account of promising. The first example shows a problem with Jack Woods’ account of promising, while the second shows a problem for a trust view developed by Daniel Friedrich and Nicholas Southwood. In light of these criticisms, I start to develop my own view where promising gives the promisor a claim-based reason for keeping their promise, and though not strictly promising, an invitation to trust plays an important explanatory role, particularly by providing an error theory and explaining the distinctive sense in which one can feel betrayed when some promises are broken.

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