Date of Award

May 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Edward Hinchman

Committee Members

Luca Fererro, Stan Husi


There is intuitive pull to the idea that if a subject knows or believes that others are just like her, and if she trusts herself as an epistemic agent, then she should also trust others as epistemic agents. It seems that she would be inconsistent to trust herself, and then when faced with an identical being in a situation or environment identical to her own, not extend trust to that other being as well. In this paper I argue that charges of inconsistency of the sort above can only apply if one's self-trust is on the basis of reasons. I consider why the intuitive consistency claim sounds right, address some possible concerns about my conception of inconsistency, and then go on to suggest that behavioral inconsistency is theoretically insignificant - it needn't play any significant role in a theory of trust intended to show that other‑trust requirements are not being met. Theories wishing to show that there are other‑trust requirements should give reasons for trust. I conclude by considering an objection involving self‑trust policies.

Included in

Epistemology Commons