Philosophical Studies

, Volume 176, Issue 4, pp 955–968 | Cite as

Trust, distrust, and affective looping

  • Karen JonesEmail author


In this article, I explore the role of affective feedback loops in creating and sustaining trust and distrust. Some emotions, such as fear and contempt, drive out trust; others, such as esteem and empathy, drive out distrust. The mechanism here is causal, but not merely causal: affective looping works through changing how the agent interprets the words, deeds, and motives of the other, thus making trust or distrust appear justified. Looping influences not only dyadic trust, but also climates, and networks of trust and distrust. Not all trust-entrenching looping is virtuous, nor all distrust-entrenching looping vicious, but distrust looping is a powerful way to justify xenophobic public policy. I explore options for remedy.


Trust Distrust Affect Narratives Liberation movements 



I would like to thank audiences at the Pacific APA, The University of Adelaide, and Monash University for their helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The School of Historical and Philosophical StudiesThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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