'Trusting-to' and 'trusting-as': a qualitative account of trustworthiness

Joshua James Clarke Kelsall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Philosophical accounts of trustworthiness typically define trustworthiness as an agent being reliable in virtue of a specific motivation such as goodwill. The underlying thought motivating this view is that to be trustworthy is to be more than merely reliable. If motivational accounts are correct, this is a problem for non-motivational accounts of trustworthiness, as motivations are not required for trustworthiness. In this paper, I defend the non-motivational approach to trustworthiness and show that the motivational approach is inadequate. I do this by making a novel distinction between trusting-to and trusting-as relations. A trusting-to relation is a relation in which a trustor ‘X’ trusts the trustee ‘Y’ to do something. Trusting-as relations are an overlooked relation implicit in all trusting-to relations. They describe the social relationship that holds between X and Y. I will argue that trusting-as relations determine whether any specific motivations are required for trustworthiness trusting-to relations. Thus, I show that acknowledging trusting-as relations enables us to provide a satisfactory explanation of the motivation intuition without making specific motivations constitutive features of trust.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
JournalInquiry - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy
VolumeLatest Articles
Early online date24 May 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 May 2022


  • Philosophy of trust
  • Trustworthiness
  • Motivations
  • Commitments


Dive into the research topics of ''Trusting-to' and 'trusting-as': a qualitative account of trustworthiness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this