It is fascinating to observe how people become obsessed with their reputation. This is especially true in the era of social media. I find this fascinating because I believe that reputation is something that is very hard to control: it takes time to build, but can easily crash. Moreover, I have always thought that people who are excessively concerned about their image easily become false and superficial; and that caring too much about reputation makes you a slave to the opinions of others.
So why is it that reputation is such an important concern in our societies? The Italian philosopher Gloria Origgi offers a fresh and extensive understanding of reputation as a psychological and social phenomenon in her book Reputation: What It Is and Why It Matters. I here summarize some of the main points made by the author.