Every human relationship, whether between lovers, friends, family members, or colleagues, involves trust or distrust. When we trust, we take for granted that others are not out to harm us; we relax and feel safe. When we distrust, we are fearful; we withdraw and try to protect ourselves. In "Dilemmas of Trust", Trudy Govier explores the profound effect trust and distrust have, not only on our relationships but on our outlook on the world and our sense of self. Trust facilitates communication, love, friendship, and co-operation and is fundamentally important to human relationships and personal development. Using examples from daily life, interviews, literature, and film, Govier describes the role of trust in friendship and in family relationships as well as the connection between self-trust, self-respect, and self-esteem. She examines the reasons we trust or distrust others and ourselves, and the expectations and vulnerabilities that accompany those attitudes. But trust should not be blind. Acknowledging that distrust is often warranted, Govier describes strategies for coping with distrust and designing workable relationships despite it.
She also examines situations in which the integrity of interpersonal relationships has been violated by serious breaches of trust and explores themes of forgiveness, reconciliation, and the restoration of trust. By encouraging reflection on our own attitudes of trust and distrust, this fascinating book points the way to a better understanding of our relationships and ourselves. Trudy Govier is an independent philosopher who lives and works in Calgary, Alberta. Her other books include "Social Trust and Human Communities" (McGill-Queen's), "God, the Devil, and the Perfect Pizza", and "A Practical Study of Argument".
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