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Contribution to Book
Trust, Autonomy, and the Fiduciary Relationship
Fiduciaries and Trust: Ethics, Politics, Economics, and Law (2019)
  • Carolyn McLeod
  • Emma Ryman, University of Toronto
Some accounts of the fiduciary relationship place trust and autonomy at odds with one another, so that trusting a fiduciary to act on one’s behalf reduces one’s ability to be autonomous. In this chapter, we critique this view of the fiduciary relationship (particularly bilateral instances of this relationship) using contemporary work on autonomy and ‘relational autonomy’. Theories of relational autonomy emphasize the role that interpersonal trust and social relationships play in supporting or hampering one’s ability to act autonomously. We argue that fiduciary relationships, understood through the lens of relational autonomy, can provide a means of enhancing, rather than diminishing, beneficiaries’ autonomy. 
  • trust,
  • autonomy,
  • fiduciary relationship,
  • relational
Publication Date
Paul B. Miller and Matthew Harding
Cambridge University Press
Citation Information
Carolyn McLeod and Emma Ryman. "Trust, Autonomy, and the Fiduciary Relationship" CambridgeFiduciaries and Trust: Ethics, Politics, Economics, and Law (2019)
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