- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Trust: Self-Interest and the Common Good Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 15, 2008
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
"In this wide-ranging book, he addresses religious, scientific, and political claims of authority, contrasting communist countries, which distrust the people, with liberal democracies, based on mistrust of the government. This excellent book is highly recommended for philosophy and social science collections." -- <em>Library Journal</em>
About the Author
<strong>Marek Kohn</strong> is Visiting Research Fellow, School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex and Honorary Faculty Fellow, School of Arts and Architecture, University of Brighton.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The world is embroiled in a financial market meltdown the likes of which few of us have ever experienced. Can we trust our governments to use the hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayers money to deftly handle this financial crisis?
And yes, trust is implicit in personal relationships as well. Can you trust your best friend, wife, husband, child?
For these reasons I chose to read the book "Trust. Self-Interest and the Common Good" by Marek Kohn. The author is clearly intelligent and has formulated aome good ideas on this subject. However I felt like I was reading a college textbook the entire time I was reading this slim volume. It has been said that the writing style is "scholarly" and it most definitely is. This is not a book to pick up and expect to enjoy during a brief period of reading. This book requires dedication to read and some real concentration to breakdown the dense and difficult to read paragraphs into chuncks that you can process.
To be honest, I had some disagreements with the book beginning with the very first sentence in the Preface which reads, "Now that agreement has been reached about how humankind can best make a profitable living, with a single economic orthodoxy established around the world, an increasing number of scholars and commentators have turned their attention to the questions of how people can live well." Whew!Read more ›
These are the primary questions on which Marek Kohn expounds in his book Trust: Self-Interest and the Common Good. There is not much original argument in this book; instead, the author does a fair job of surveying the relevant literature from fields as disperate as philosophy, economics, political science and biology. We are introduced to, and think about, various views on trust: from Hobbes and Hume to Dawkins and (Francis) Fukuyama.
While there seems to be no overarching theme to the book, the cloest thing to it is the author's explanation of how trust - a social instinct - can be seen as a strategy of self-interest. Not only is it that one trusts generally only when one has reason to do so (or, negatively, avoids skepticism unless there is reason for it). Also, trust is integral to self-interest by allowing teams and communities to form in which individuals can find strangth in numbers, interacting with others while avoiding the burden of having to watch one's back.
This idea is nothing new, of course. Anyone familiar with group selection theory or Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations is familiar with the arguments that trust may have self-interested roots. Kohn goes on to explore relevant literature on the conditons under which trust is helped and harmed.Read more ›
I was able to read this book in a couple of hours, as it is well-written and has a nice flow. Potential readers need to be aware that "Trust" is more of a survey of the topic meant to springboard folks into further exploration of trust, as opposed to an in-depth study. That is not to say that the book is shallow. The author skillfully covers a lot of material in the book's 133 pages.
I particularly found the chapter on trust and politics interesting. Kohn examines the role of trust as it relates to various political systems, using specific examples and even drawing upon the philosophy of thinkers such as Thomas Hobbes. "Trust" certainly gives the reader some things to think about and further study.
Overall, "Trust" is a book that will interest both academics and casual readers. It may not contain anything groundbreaking, but it does provide food for thought in a manner that is organized and easy to read, while at the same time invites further exploration of the role of trust in society.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I tried so hard to get into this book, but it was painful to read. It was loaded with jargon...snore and worse still it makes some pretty overarching statements about how people in... Read morePublished on September 23, 2010 by Tethys
Kohn's book is a well written and well thought out study of a subject that is both interesting and worthy of such study. Read morePublished on July 22, 2010 by Logical Paradox
This book is about trust, which would seem like an interesting subject. However, as many other reviews have noted this book is rather tedious. Read morePublished on May 21, 2009 by N. Burt
Self Interest and the Common Good
by Marek Kohn
This deceptively slim volume takes on a subject of surprising depth and complexity. Read more
Don't be put off by the title (a bit of a clunker to be sure). Trust is a terrific read both for the quality of its prose and the acuity of its ideas. Read morePublished on January 23, 2009 by Librum
I have to confess that upon first look, this book did not grab me. But eventually, I picked it up and delved inside and it offers a powerful, insightful discussion on the... Read morePublished on January 15, 2009 by Robert Kall
It would be bad enough if Darwinism--which justifies eugenics, racism, genocide, etc.--were true. After all, if life really did just boil down to a struggle between different... Read morePublished on January 12, 2009 by Orrin C. Judd
This is a very lucid treatment of the subject, trust me! It may not cover all recent academic work on the subject as K says, but it does encapsulate a large smattering of the... Read morePublished on December 23, 2008 by Amazon Customer
Trust covers a lot of ground well in very few words and with limited examples. From Game Theory, the book explores themes around the well-known Prisoner's Dilemma problem (if... Read morePublished on November 24, 2008 by Donald Mitchell