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How Can I Be Trusted?

A Virtue Theory of Trustworthiness

Nancy Nyquist Potter

This work examines the concept of trust in the light of virtue theory, and takes our responsibility to be trustworthy as central. Rather than thinking of trust as risk-taking, Potter views it as equally a matter of responsibility-taking. How Can I Be Trusted? illustrates that relations of trust are never independent from considerations of power, and that the trustee has a moral obligation not to exploit the vulnerability of the trusting person. Asking ourselves what we can do to be trustworthy allows us to move beyond adversarial trust relationships and toward a more democratic, just, and peaceful society. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 256Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7425-1150-7 • Hardback • November 2002 • $117.00 • (£75.00)
978-0-7425-1151-4 • Paperback • November 2002 • $39.00 • (£24.95)
978-1-4616-3746-2 • eBook • November 2002 • $38.99 • (£24.95)
Nancy Nyquist Potter is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Louisville.
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 A Virtue Theory of Trustworthiness
Chapter 3 Justified Lies and Broken Trust
Chapter 4 When Relations of Trust Pull Us in Different Directions
Chapter 5 The Trustworthy Teacher
Chapter 6 Trustworthy Relations Among Intimates
Chapter 7 Giving Uptake and Its Relation to Trustworthiness
How Can I Be Trusted? makes a valuable contribution to virtue ethics, as well as to our understanding of trust in a variety of relationships. Potter's experiences as a crisis counselor and philosophy teacher provide her with illuminating case studies, which serve wonderfully well to display the difficult and shifting demands of trustworthiness.
Annette Baier, author of Moral Prejudices

Potter has thought carefully and well about a number of institutional and personal settings in which issues of trust are paramount, and her book contains a cogent critique of how dominant ways of thinking about our obligations to one another, particularly in certain important professional roles like counselor and teacher, have paid inadequate attention to issues of trust and trustworthiness, and are too reliant on internal institutional norms of conduct which immunize practitioners from serious challenges.
Metapsychology Online Reviews

Nancy Potter takes philosophical reflections on trust in important new directions by exploring trustworthiness in such practical contexts as teaching and crisis counseling.
Trudy Govier, University of Lethbridge, author of Forgiveness and Revenge and Taking Wrongs Seriously