Each Other’s World, Each Other’s Fate: Løgstrup’s Conception of Basic Trust

Anne-Marie Søndergaard Christensen*, C. Eriksen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Since the publication of Annette Baier’s agenda-setting article entitled ‘Trust and Antitrust’, trust has become an increasingly popular topic, not only in moral philosophy and epistemology but also in the fields of economics, psychology, anthropology and the social sciences. Yet, the importance of K.E. Løgstrup’s highly original work on trust is still not fully recognised. In this article, we try to remedy this oversight by comparing three dominant trends in the broad and varied field of contemporary writings on trust with Løgstrup’s conception of the phenomenon of basic trust. The three trends are the attempts to develop theories providing explanations or justifications of trust and the almost all-pervasive individualism of contemporary thinking on trust. Our aim is to show how Løgstrup’s concept of basic trust, along with his understanding of vulnerability, interdependence, and the relational character of our lives gives us reasons to be critical of these dominant trends. Furthermore, we argue that Løgstrup offers us valuable insights into the fundamental and ubiquitous, but often overlooked phenomenon of basic trust, and that this form of trust is essentially relational in character.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-43
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Philosophical Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • A. Baier
  • K.E. Løgstrup
  • N. Luhmann
  • R. Hardin
  • interdependence
  • relational ethics
  • trust
  • vulnerability


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