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Book Launch

Book Talk | Reputation: What It Is and Why It Matters

12/13 Wednesday | 6pm

NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to a book talk on Reputation: What It Is and Why It Matters, featuring the author Gloria Origgi in discussion with David Berreby.

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 Reputation: What It Is and Why It Matters, 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.


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 gloriaoriggi.blogspot.com.

David Berreby is the author of Us and Them: The Science of Identity. He has written about human behavior and other science topics for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Slate, Smithsonian, The New Republic, Nature, Discover, Vogue and many other publications. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Paris, a Science Writing Fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory, and a resident at Yaddo.

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