Lead


Lay summary
Summary Trust is a basic phenomenon of human life that has, for some time, stood in the center of attention in a number of disciplines for obvious reasons. On the one hand, human life in its individual and its institutionalized forms is impossible without trust (you need trust), while on the other, trust crises are increasingly spoken of in many areas of private and public life (trust is lost). Individual problems are not the only elements which remain unclear and controversial, however. It is also unsatisfactory both in a methodical and factual sense that the solutions to these problems still continue to be sought entirely or predominantly in individual areas of study. This application is based in the conviction that the complex phenomenon of trust is, in an exemplary manner, a trans-disciplinary problem that can only be processed with the goal of attaining solutions using the collaboration between various disciplines and methodical approaches. Questions arising in neurobiology or behavioral research thus do not automatically apply to history, medicine, or theology; they all examine trust problems, however. Examining them more closely thus seems logical, in order to gain in both factual and methodical areas. Until now, this has only been done occasionally, in bilateral cooperation, but neither programmatically in a multi-disciplinary manner nor under methodically controlled conditions. An important prerequisite for the success of the project is that the disciplines involved be closely connected both on the level of the individual projects within the disciplines as well as in the development of common conceptions of trust (see 2.3.1). On one level, individual projects in five central areas of trust research (neurobiology or economics, pharmacology, the study of history, theology, sociology of religion, and philosophy) should attain concrete research results within their own disciplines. The neurobiological or economic subproject (The emotional and neurobiological origins of trust) will examine the extent to which general risk behavior and inter-individual trust can be differentiated from one another. The second project (Trust in therapy) studies neuropsychological and neuropharmacological aspects of trust in placebo processes and factors influencing patients’ trust in a clinical setting. A third area of research (The role of trust in credit relationships and bank systems in a historical comparison) covers the role of trust in credit markets, on the one hand from the viewpoint of Switzerland from the middle of the 19th century until the period between the world wars, and on the other hand in light of the present micro-credit organizations in the so-called developing world. The fourth subproject (Forms of life and limits of unconditional trust) looks at religious forms of trust, both in light of personal and institutional phenomena. Finally, a fifth subproject (Hermeneutics of trust) examines conceptual, methodological and epistemological problems of trust in a philosophical and hermeneutical perspective, as they appear in the other four subprojects and which must be taken note of in comparison with other aspects of trust research. At a practical level, at least one of the other disciplines will be involved in the research project of any one branch, in such a way that the "nature" and "culture" oriented disciplines are united at all times. Furthermore, biological and cultural-historical problem fields and questions will be related to one another in such a way that a decision can be made between the alternatives of an integral model of trust or research connections partially extending beyond one field without a unified, grounded understanding of trust. For example, the emotional and neurobiological bases of trust and the role of trust in therapy and pain treatment will be examined from a biological-anthropological standpoint, while the role of trust in credit relationships and bank systems and the question of forms of life and the limits of unconditional trust will be covered from a cultural point of view. Research in each discipline will take place under a close exchange with other disciplines. The philosophical hermeneutics of trust will coordinate projects in order to guarantee the coherency of the research area within the diversity of its approaches and in order to elucidate the points where methods, problems, and answers to the various discipline approaches the phenomena (complex) of trust are confirmed, enhanced, or corrected. Key words: Trust, emotion, cognition, (neuro-)biology, culture, hermeneutics, economics, therapy, credit, religion.