A Question of Trust: The BBC Reith Lectures 2002

A Question of Trust: The BBC Reith Lectures 2002

Paperback BBC Reith Lectures

By (author) Baroness Onora Sylvia O'Neill of Bengarve

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 108 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 10mm | 141g
  • Publication date: 1 July 2002
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521529964
  • ISBN 13: 9780521529969
  • Edition statement: 2002 ed.
  • Sales rank: 376,898

Product description

We say we can no longer trust our public services, institutions or the people who run them. The professionals we have to rely on - politicians, doctors, scientists, businessmen and many others - are treated with suspicion. Their word is doubted, their motives questioned. Whether real or perceived, this crisis of trust has a debilitating impact on society and democracy. Can trust be restored by making people and institutions more accountable? Or do complex systems of accountability and control themselves damage trust? Onora O'Neill challenges current approaches, investigates sources of deception in our society and re-examines questions of press freedom. 2002's Reith Lectures present a philosopher's view of trust and deception, and ask whether and how trust can be restored in a modern democracy.

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Author information

Onora O'Neill is Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge and has written widely on political philosophy, ethics, international justice and Kant.

Review quote

'... the philosopher Onora O'Neill, a Cambridge academic who purges the ivory-tower associations with a clarity of thought and expression addressed to real issues.' Martin Hoyle, Financial Times '... the principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, is winning praise for her calmly diffident description of a society whose accountability mania puts it too much in the power of a manipulative central government, for her criticism of human rights rhetoric and her belief that a virtuous individual's action can change history.' The Times 'Onora O'Neill is talking more good sense than any previous lecturer I can recall.' Sunday Telegraph 'The Sun welcomes this debate on cynicism in public life.' Sun 'She is brilliant at making a lazy society define its terms ...'. Jasper Gerard, The Sunday Times '... the principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, is winning praise for her calmly dissident description of a society whose accountability mania puts it too much in the power of a manipulative central government, for her criticism of human rights rhetoric and her belief that a virtuous individual's action can change history.' Vanora Bennett, The Times 'As a moral philosopher, O'Neill specialises in that dizzying thing: teasing out contradictions and confusions within concepts that the rest of us unthinkingly bandy about.' Elisabeth Mahoney, Guardian 'Her lectures are therefore fascinating because they are both thoughtful and relevant.' Rachel Sylvester, Telegraph 'O'Neill ... writes with great clarity and verve. Being a philosopher, she is concerned to raise issues for consideration, to provoke debate, to make us think more deeply ... she articulates and gives depth to issues that must be in many people's minds.' Catholic Herald The combination of serious philosophical discussion with journalistic presentational skills has been brought to a fine art by O'Neill ... The subject of these lectures [is] of enormous and immediate importance ... if anything is transparent, it is the truthfulness and good sense of this most admirable lecturer' Baroness Warnock, The Times Higher Education Supplement '... a stimulating and lively read ...'. Practical Philosophy

Table of contents

1. Spreading suspicion; 2. Trust and terror; 3. Called to account; 4. Trust and transparency; 5. Licence to deceive?