Frames of Deceit

A study of the loss and recovery of public and private trust

Frames of Deceit is a philosophical investigation of the nature of trust in public and private life. It examines how trust originates, how it is challenged, and how it is recovered when moral and political imperfections collide. In politics, rulers may be called upon to act badly for the sake of a political good, and in private life intimate attachments are formed in which the costs of betrayal are high. This book asks how trust is tested by human goods, moral character, and power relations. It explores whether an individual's experience of betrayal differs totally from that of a community when it loses and then seeks to recover a vital public trust. Although this is a work of political philosophy it is distinctive in examining three literary texts--Sophocles' Philoctetes, Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, and Zola's Thérèse Raquin--in order to deepen our understanding of the place of trust in morality and politics.


 Reviews:

"...opens up new ways of thinking about the process by which public and private trust is lost and recovered. Readers who can appreciate the scope and complexity of the problems Johnson is confronting will probably find this a rewarding read." Canadian Philosophical Reviews

"...a significant step toward a richer understanding of this hitherto neglected topic." Rodger L. Jackson, Canadian Philosophical Review