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Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 20, Issue 1, Spring 2013

Jeffrey M. Courtright
Pages 39-51
DOI: 10.5840/pcw20132014

Is Trust Like an 'Atmosphere'? Understanding the Phenomenon of Existential Trust

This article defends what I call the atmospheric claun about trust: at least one form of trust manifests itself in human life in a manner that is like an atmosphere (generalized, ambient, and diffuse). I also provide a provisional defense of the claim that trust is a necessary condition for the thriving of something that matters to us. I offer a phenomenological sketch of existential trust. Existential trust is a primordial and atmospheric (generalized, ambient, and diffuse) manifestation of trust that constitutes a fundamental a way of being in relationship with the world as a whole such that one feels supportively upheld, vulnerably open, orientationally attuned, and demanded in relation to this world, with the overall effect of feeling at home in it.

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