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Trust, Confidence and Reliance: Reflections of a Linguist


  • Desportes Yvon

    () (Head of Department for International Cooperation and Scientific Research, Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier, Graduate School of Management)


The author, a linguist, explores how ``trust," ``confidence," and ``reliance" underlie global trade and finance.To do this, he demonstrates the contribution that linguistic research has made to the understanding of the meaning of these words, in referring particularly to the work of the French Sanskrit specialist Emile Benvéniste.Recalling the archeology of the images and representations that former civilizations have associated with these words, the author undertakes a detailed semantic history.The analysis that theologians and philosophers have performed on these notions is the occasion to show that the inquiry into the question of confidence is related to someone else's philosophy. Just as there is no more an objective knowledge of others any more than there is an objective knowledge of God, the convictions acquired relative to others or to God are of a different order than that of pure reason. Thus the notion of confidence implies by nature the notion of risk.The author aims to show that if the contemporary problematics are of a different nature than those whose words represent the vestige, nothing however in these problematics is foreign to the human experience that these words convey: only the fields of application and the reasons of the inquiry have changed with time.15th Presidential Address, presented at international conference, Istanbul, Turkey, May 2005.

Suggested Citation

  • Desportes Yvon, 2006. "Trust, Confidence and Reliance: Reflections of a Linguist," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-17, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:6:y:2006:i:1:n:4

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