Modern Philosophy

Common Values
by Sissela Bok

Sissela Bok explores the question of which moral values are shared across national, ethnic, religious, and cultural boundaries in Common Values. Written in a cogent and lucid style that reaches out to the reader, Common Values combines moral theory with practical ethics to demonstrate how these moral values are applied across all facets of life. By overcoming the formidable obstacles of psychological predisposition and cultural prejudice, Common Values can indeed exist in harmony with cultural diversity while providing the basis for dialog, negotiation, and cooperation at all levels of human interaction.

Bok defines many areas where divergent cultures share the same basic ethical framework accepted by every viable society in order to survive collectively. This work defines those values that have been established by human societies throughout history, together with those that are held in common by virtually all human beings. She makes a convincing argument that there are certain values and standards of ethical conduct which are shared across cultures, values that coexist successfully with the respective cultural diversities.

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About the Author

Sissela Myrdal Bok is Senior Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies and a Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. A former member of the Pulitzer Prize Board, she serves on the editorial board of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, and on the boards of Common Knowledge, and Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. During her distinguished academic career she has published a series of books based upon the ideals of universal human values. Sissela Bok received the George Orwell Award and the Melcher Book Award for Lying : Moral Choice in Public and Private Life. Widely respected as a modern philosopher, Sissela originally read psychology at university, in deference to the wishes of her mother Nobel Peace Laureate Alva Myrdal. Being the daughter of two Nobel Prize winners, with her father Gunnar Myrdal awarded the Nobel prize for economics, Sissela Myrdal Bok offers a rich intellectual perspective in her own work.

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