Reputation What it is and Why it Matters

Gloria Origgi
Princeton Uni Press
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Reputation What it is and Why it Matters

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"Fascinating, thought-provoking, and persuasive, this book deepens our understanding of the complexity and importance of reputation. Its engaging and accessible style ensures that the reader is never bored."--Carlo Invernizzi Accetti, City College of New York and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Paris "Having a good reputation is crucial for individuals, groups, and even objects. Through wide-ranging and well-crafted examples--from wine tasting to academic prestige--Gloria Origgi offers a grand tour of how the social sciences illuminate the process of reputation formation. Reputations might be imperfect, but they are unavoidable, and Origgi's book can help us make them more reliable."--Hugo Mercier, coauthor of The Enigma of Reason "This is a truly original, highly insightful, and highly readable book on a vital yet largely unexplored question: who do we trust, why should we trust, and how should we trust. Let's stop ignoring the expert problem. This is not a book, but the birth of a branch of applied knowledge."--Nassim Nicholas Taleb [Reputation] mixes crunchy intellectual provocations with literary allusions, catty takes on academic life and some juicy riffs.---Ian Leslie, New Statesman
Gloria Origgi, a Paris-based philosopher, is a senior researcher at the Institut Jean Nicod at the National Center for Scientific Research. Her books include one on trust and another on the future of writing on the Internet. She maintains a blog in English, French, and Italian at


A compelling exploration of how reputation affects every aspect of contemporary life Reputation touches almost everything, guiding our behavior and choices in countless ways. But it is also shrouded in mystery. Why is it so powerful when the criteria by which people and things are defined as good or bad often appear to be arbitrary? Why do we care so much about how others see us that we may even do irrational and harmful things to try to influence their opinion? In this engaging book, Gloria Origgi draws on philosophy, social psychology, sociology, economics, literature, and history to offer an illuminating account of an important yet oddly neglected subject. Origgi examines the influence of the Internet and social media, as well as the countless ranking systems that characterize modern society and contribute to the creation of formal and informal reputations in our social relations, in business, in politics, in academia, and even in wine. She highlights the importance of reputation to the effective functioning of the economy and e-commerce. Origgi also discusses the existential significance of our obsession with reputation, concluding that an awareness of the relationship between our reputation and our actions empowers us to better understand who we are and why we do what we do. Compellingly written and filled with surprising insights, Reputation pins down an elusive subject that affects everyone.
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