On the negative social effects of exaggerated distrust and paranoid cognition



In view of Kramer’s theory about paranoid cognition, this paper examines how exaggerated distrust
and such cognition produce important negative effects upon social reality. The first section deals
with Searle’s theory of social reality, and how it is basically explained in terms of one world of
physical particles and groups of intentional agents performing “we” actions. The aim of this section
is to show that the “we” actions of collective intentionality allow fundamental social practices,
namely, those related to institutions. Looking at trust, cooperation, and collective intentionality, the
second section examines in what sense these three elements form the triad of human civilization.
Finally, the last section analyses which negative effects exaggerated distrust and Kramer’s paranoid
cognition have upon the Searlean social reality: both, which break off cooperative relations and
solemn pacts, end up disrupting the triad.

Palabras clave:

trust, distrust, cooperation, collective intentionality, paranoide cognition