Common Values

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 95%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (17) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $16.54   
  • Used (12) from $1.99   


In Common Values, now with a new preface,Bok writes eloquently and clearly while combining moral theory with practical ethics, demonstrating how moral values apply to all facets of life—personal, professional, domestic, and international. Drawing on a great deal of historical material, Bok also includes in her examination consideration of the 1993 United Nations World Conference on Human Rights; the World Parliament of Religions; the publication of Veritatis Splendor, Pope John Paul II's proclamation on morality; and the International Commission of Global Governance. Bok's defense of shared morality addresses a crucial topic for our time.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In arguing that a minimalist set of values can exist across cultures, Bok examines past and present attempts to identify such values and presents a substantial and clear account of the four most common objections to them advanced since antiquity. Understanding these four objections and how one might respond to them is crucial for successful contemporary discussion and agreement on the matter of common values. . . . This book is suitable for a wide range of readers, as the topic is of global importance."—Choice

"Ethicist Sissela Bok seeks to persuade us that our late-century global tragedies are indeed different from the accumulated woes of our predecessors in this way: they are global; they cross boundaries; in a very real sense, they endanger life itself. . . . She urges us to come down from our trees—those vantage points of realism, pacifism, or utopianism from which we view events—and join in the effort to construct dialogue from the building blocks of our shared humanity, shaped as they are from what she claims to be the universally-held conviction that survival is based on three irreducible values: 1) all people, in all societies, espouse the need to be mutually supportive and loyal to their fellow members of the group; 2) all people, in all societies, decry violence, betrayal, and deceit practiced on members of the group; 3) all people, in all societies, demand a form of justice that distinguishes between right' and wrong' and that is fair' in its application of the group's rules to all its members. Bok wants us to see that this spare and yet stringent value set, when extended to apply beyond prevailing ethnic, religious, or national boundaries, offers the only hope of a negotiated ceasefire on the battlefields of war, disease, and environmental degradation."—Harvard Review

"This work stands as a common sense proposal to find common ground in a world too close to stay separated."—Word Trade

In chapters based on lectures given and essays published between 1988 and 1994, Bok Distinguished Fellow, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies explores the question of what moral values, if any, might be shared across national, ethnic, religious, and other boundaries, under what circumstances, and with what qualifications. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826210388
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Pages: 152
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Sissela Bok is a Senior Visiting Fellow, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. She is also the author of numerous books, including Mayhem: Violence as Public Entertainment; Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life; Secrets: On the Ethics of Concealment and Revelation; A Strategy for Peace: Human Values and the Threat of War; and Alva Myrdal: A Daughter's Memoir.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Cultural Diversity and Common Values 10
Ch. 2 The Search for a Common Ethics 42
Ch. 3 What Basis for Morality? A Minimalist Approach 67
Ch. 4 Advocates of Lasting Peace: Utopians or Realists? 82
Ch. 5 Humanitarian Emergencies: Whose Rights? Whose Responsibilities? 104
Index of Names 129
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)