Values have always been a central topic in both philosophy and the social sciences. Statements about what is good or bad, fair or unfair, legitimate or illegitimate, express axiomatic beliefs about human existence. The fact that values differ from culture to culture and century to century opens many questions for the student of values. How can differences be explained? Can some values be accepted as true and others false? Can the question of validity be ignored in favor of identification of the causes of belief? Thinkers from Adam Smith, Nietzsche, Durkheim, and Weber to John Rawls and Jrgen Habermas have developed theories, rooted in economics, psychology, or biology, to explain why people endorse or reject certain value statements. In The Origin of Values, Raymond Boudon offers empirical, data-based analysis of existing theories about values, while developing his own general perspective as to why people accept or reject value statements. Boudon classifies the main theories of value including those based on firm belief, social or biological factors, and rational or utilitarian attitudes. He discusses the popular and widely influential Rational Choice Model, critiques the postmodernist approach, which sees all values as the emanation of singular cultures. Boudon investigates why relativism has become so powerful and contrasts it with the naturalism represented by the work of James Q. Wilson on moral sensibility. He follows with a constructive attempt to develop a new theory, beginning with Weber's idea of non-instrumental rationality as the basis for a more complex idea of rationality. Applying Boudon's own and existing theories of value to recent and current political issues and social ideas-the end of apartheid, the death penalty, multiculturalism, communitarianism-The Origin of Values is a significant work. Boudon fulfills a major task of social science: explanation of collective belief. His book will be of interest to sociologists, philosophers, psychologists, and political scientists. Raymond Boudon is professor at the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV). He is the author of The Art of Self-Persuasion, Etudes sur les sociologues classiques, and The Classical Tradition in Sociology: The European Tradition. He is the editor of Annee Sociologique and of the series qSociologiesq at the Presses Universitaires de France. He is a foreign member of the British Academy and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences..He is the editor of Annee Sociologique and of the series aquot;Sociologiesaquot; at the Presses Universitaires de France. He is a foreign member of the British Academy and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
|Title||:||The Origin of Values|
|Publisher||:||Transaction Publishers - 2001|