An interview on philosophy, trust, and skepticism

This interview with Onora O'Neill was a rather interesting I thought. My favourite excerpt:

As a scholarly discipline, do you think philosophy still commands respect and importance within the global academy?

I think philosophy gets the respect it deserves. Of course, where purported philosophical argument is replaced by dogmatic, trivial or ideological claims, respect is rapidly lost – as it should be.

Over your career, you’ve written extensively about trust; what is its role and function in society?

When we manage to place trust intelligently in trustworthy institutions and persons, life can be easier, pleasanter and less risky. So it is trustworthiness and judging trustworthiness well that matter to us. Misdirected trust is not valuable to anyone – except to the untrustworthy recipient.

Do you think we’re living in an age of heightened scepticism, where trust and belief in people are hard to come by?

I sometimes think we are living in an age of heightened credulity rather than of heightened scepticism. Many people worry about appearing gullible, but are fairly relaxed about appearing cynical.