Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Trust Out of Distrust


Author Info

  • Edna Ullmann-Margalit
Registered author(s):


    The paper aims to establish the possibility of trust from within a Hobbesian framework. It shows that distrust situations can be structured in two ways, the first referred to as Hard and the second as Soft, both of which are compatible with Hobbes’s stark assumptions about human nature. In Hard distrust situations (which are prisoner’s-dilemma structured) the distrust strategy is dominant; in the Soft variety (which are stag-hunt structured) trust is an equilibrium choice. In order to establish the possibility of trust there is no need to claim that the state of nature is Soft rather than Hard, nor even that Soft is likelier. Game theoretical considerations show that all that is needed to give trust a chance is the ambiguity or uncertainty on the part of the players as to which of the two basic situations of distrust in fact obtains: which game was picked by Nature for them to play.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem in its series Discussion Paper Series with number dp289.

    as in new window
    Length: 15 pages
    Date of creation: May 2002
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in The Journal of Philosophy, 2002, vol. 99, pp. 532-548.
    Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp289

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Feldman Building - Givat Ram - 91904 Jerusalem
    Phone: +972-2-6584135
    Fax: +972-2-6513681
    Web page:
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research


    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Bac, Mehmet, 2009. "Generalized trust and wealth," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 46-56, March.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp289. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ilan Nehama).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.