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The Meaning of Trust: Fides between Self-Interest and Appetitus Societatis

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the meaning of trust, in order to shed some light on the way Hugo Grotius structures the relationship between individual and community, between citizen and State, and consequently between private and public. It rehearses the modern debate on trust in political theory, also in order to distinguish and contrast the Grotian and Hobbesian approaches to sociability. The chapter traces the Grotian concept of trust as part of his theory of sociability. Standardly the latter is identified by the appetitus societatis of the Prolegomena of De iure belli ac pacis, to which the term oikeiosis was connected in the second edition (1632). To see how that functions one returns to the argument about trust in the Parallelon, with a side-remark on Wolfgang Fikentscher. Yet man has to consider the notion of fides, as nature and his self-interest command so. Fides as trust and fides as faith are inseparable.

Keywords: appetitus societatis; De iure belli ac pacis; fides; Hugo Grotius; Parallelon; self-interest; trust; Wolfgang Fikentscher



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