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Contribution to Book
Towards a Feminist Theory of Distrust
The Moral Psychology of Trust (2023)
  • Hale Demir-Doğuoğlu, Western University
  • Carolyn McLeod, Western University
We use feminist insights about institutional distrust to critique the most general and well-developed theory of distrust in philosophy—Katherine Hawley’s commitment account—and to learn from this exercise about what a feminist theory of distrust should be like. Though not designed to explain institutional distrust as we understand it, Hawley’s theory is meant to apply to people’s relationships with institutional representatives as well as to friendships or intimate relationships whose contours are shaped by informal institutional structures. It should therefore be able to explain the institutional distrust that is prevalent among socially marginalized people. However, we argue that the account falls short in this regard. At best, it needs revision or elaboration so that it can do this conceptual work. 

  • distrust,
  • institutions,
  • commitment,
  • non-reliance,
  • Hawley,
  • feminism
Publication Date
M. Alfano, D. Collins, and I. V. Javonovic
Rowman & Littlefield
Moral Psychology of Emotions
Citation Information
Hale Demir-Doğuoğlu and Carolyn McLeod. "Towards a Feminist Theory of Distrust" The Moral Psychology of Trust (2023)
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