The role of trust in argumentation

Catarina Dutilh Novaes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Argumentation is important for sharing knowledge and infor-mation. Given that the receiver of an argument purportedly engages first and foremost with its content, one might expect trust to play a negligible epistemic role, as opposed to its crucial role in testimony. I argue on the con-trary that trust plays a fundamental role in argumentative engagement. I pre-sent a realistic social epistemological account of argumentation inspired by social exchange theory. Here, argu-mentation is a form of epistemic ex-change. I illustrate my argument with two real-life examples: vaccination hesitancy, and the undermining of the credibility of traditional sources of in-formation by authoritarian politicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-236
Number of pages32
JournalInformal Logic
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2020


  • Argumentation
  • Epistemic vigilance
  • Social exchange theory
  • Testimony
  • Trust


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