Moral Psychology

McGeer, V., & Pettit, P. (2017). "The empowering theory of trust". In New Philosophical Perspectives on Trust (eds., Paul Faulkner & Thomas Simpson) . Oxford University Press.
McGeer, V. (2015). Mind-making practices: the social infrastructure of self-knowing agency and responsibility. Philosophical Explorations , 18 (2), 259-281. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This paper is divided into two parts. In Section 1, I explore and defend a “regulative"
"view” of folk-psychology as against the “standard view” (encompassing both theory- theory  and  simulation  theory,  as  well  as  hybrid  variations).  On  the  regulative  view, folk-psychology  is  conceptualized  in  fundamentally  interpersonal  terms  as  a  “mind- making”   practice   through  which   we  come   to   form  and   regulate   our  minds  in accordance with a rich array of socially shared and socially maintained sense-making norms.  It  is  not,  as  the  standard  view  maintains,  simply  an  epistemic  capacity  for coming  to  know  about  the  mental  states  and  dispositions  already  there.  Importantly, the regulative view can meet and beat the standard at its own epistemic game. But it also does more. In Section 2, I show how the regulative view makes progress on two other problems that remain puzzling on the standard view:  (1) the problem of “first- person authority”  –  accounting for the special features of self-knowledge; and (2) the problem of “reactive responsiveness”  –  accounting for our deep concern with calling"
"one another to account for normatively untoward behaviour, both generally and in the moral domain.
Reprinted in The Philosopher's Annual (2016) vol. 35
McGeer, V. (2002). Developing Trust. Philosophical Explorations , 5 (1), 21-38.Abstract

This paper examines developing trust in two related senses: (1) rationally overcoming distrust, and (2) developing a mature capacity for trusting/distrusting. In focussing exclusively on the first problem, traditional philosophical discussions fail to address how an evidence-based paradigm of rationality is easily co-opted by (immature) agents in support of irrational distrust (or trust) – a manifestation of the second problem. Well-regulated trust requires developing a capacity to tolerate the uncertainties that chracterise relationships among fully autonomous self-directed agents. Early relationships lack this uncertainty since car-givers take primary responsibility for determining a child’s interests, reducing the scope (if not the intensity) of potential conflict between self and other. Once agents recognize that adulthood demands foregoing the security embedded in such relationships of dependency, they are free to embrace a more appropriate paradigm of rationality for guiding their thought and action in interactions with others.