Foundations Of Future Studies Volume 2

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Futures studies is a new field of inquiry involving systematic and explicit thinking about alternative futures. Wendell Bell's two-volume work Foundations of Futures Studies is widely acknowledged as the fundamental work on the subject. In Volume 2, Bell goes beyond possible and probable futures to the study of preferable futures. He shows that concern with ethics, morality, and human values follows directly from the futurist purposes of discovering or inventing, examining, and proposing desirable futures. He examines moral judgments as an inescapable aspect of all decision-making and conscious action, even in the everyday lives of ordinary people.

Now available in paperback with a new preface from the author, Volume 2 of Foundations of Futures Studies moves beyond cultural relativism to critical evaluation. Bell compares depictions of the good society by utopian writers, describes objective methods of moral judgment, assesses religion and law as sources of what is morally right, documents the existence of universal human values, and shows that if human beings are to thrive in the global society of the future, some human values must be changed.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"While the tone is sedate, Bell's ideas often strike sparks.... Bell concludes futurologists must (and sociologists should) discuss how society ought to be, because our survival depends on our soon restoring the 'good' to scientific inquiry into the human condition." –Arthur B. Shostak, Contemporary Sociology "This book is a masterpiece! It makes an extraordinary contribution to studies of the future." –Allen Tough, University of Toronto "A truly remarkable book, reflecting a life-long study of the future and scholarship of the highest order...visionary—in the best sense of the term." –Amitai Etzioni, George Washington University “Bell is primarily concerned with the 'ethical foundations' or methods for deciding what things, events, arrangements, actions, and consequences are better than others in future studies… A must read for future studies specialists and their graduate students.” —D. V. Waller, Choice “This is an important book… Its major concepts such as values, morality, objectivity, and the ‘good society’ are clearly an essential part of any thoughtful discussion of altruism or solidarity… Bell’s book is especially useful in placing debates about altruism/solidarity in the broader context of universal values and global needs… Perhaps the biggest impact of Bell’s work on the field of altruism/solidarity relates to a shift from merely describing and explaining ‘what is’ to a consideration of ‘what ought to be’… Bell’s book could serve as a foundation for a paradigm shift in how the sociology of altruism/solidarity is practiced… Bell’s book should be required reading for anyone interested in the possibility of a better future.” – Mathew T. Lee, Altruism & Social Solidarity "Values, Objectivity, and the Good Society will provide a basis for the study of the complex interplay between values and visions of the future for years to come. Its horizon spans a dozen disciplines; it is unique, courageous, and scholarly. Professor Bell tackles the toughest question that futurists, politicians, and ordinary people can ask: 'What is a good future?'" —Theodore J. Gordon, founder and former president, The Futures Group, Inc.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765805669
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/15/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 412
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendell Bell is professor emeritus of sociology at Yale University, where he also served as chair of the department. Bell has written more than 200 articles and authored or co-authored numerous books, including Social Area Analysis, Public Leadership, and Foundations of Futures Studies (two volumes).

Wendell Bell is professor emeritus of sociology at Yale University, where he also served as chair of the department. Bell has written more than 200 articles and authored or co-authored numerous books, including Social Area Analysis, Public Leadership, and Foundations of Futures Studies (two volumes).

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Table of Contents

List of Figures List of Tables Acknowledgements Preface to the 2004 Edition Introduction 1. Values in Utopian Thought 2. Making Value Judgments Objectively: How do We Decide What is Preferable? 3. Some Practical Strategies for Judging Preferable Futures 4. Universal Human Values 5. The Quantity of Human Life 6. What Human Values Ought to be Changed? Epilogue References References (2004) Index About the Author

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