Bending the Rules

The Flexibility of Absolutes in Modern Life

by

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 0191527394
  • 9780195154566
  • 9780191527395
  • 9780191578731
Do-unto-others-as-you-would-have-them-do-unto-you. Who would disagree with this 'Golden Rule'? We regard it as the basis of an absolute and universal morality. And yet it is considered acceptable to kill the enemy in war; for a businessman to do the best for himself; for a lawyer to argue professionally for a position he would personally reject. Are the moral rules we live by more flexible than they seem at first sight?In Bending the Rules Robert Hinde does not follow the much-trodden path of philosophizing about what is right and just. Instead, he uses an approach grounded in the behavioural sciences to explore the nature of morality, what people actually do, what they believe to be right, and what values they hold, and how these positions came to be. Such a deeper understanding of morality, he argues, as a product of biological and cultural evolution, and changing with social environment, holds outhope that we can avoid disaster and steer society towards peace and equity in the twenty-first century.
  • OUP Oxford; October 2007
  • ISBN 9780191527395
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
  • Title: Bending the Rules
  • Author: Robert A. Hinde
  • Imprint: OUP Oxford
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 0191527394
  • 9780195154566
  • 9780191527395
  • 9780191578731

In The Press

Robert Hinde is one of the greatest ethologists, and a pioneer in linking various sciences in the study of human behavior. Here, Hinde explores the roots of morality, its evolution in various cultural contexts, and the ethical conflicts that arise in different spheres of modern life. His penetrating analysis of morality in relation to war and peace suggests ways to move toward the abolition of war. This is a book of fundamental importance to scholars and for aneducated public that badly needs wisdom in this field.

About The Author

Robert A. Hinde is Emeritus Professor of Ethology at the University of Cambridge, and former Master of St. John's College, Cambridge. He is Chair of the British Pugwash Group (an organization set up in the 1950s to urge for greater social responsibility in science), President of the Movement for the Abolition of War, Fellow of the Royal Society, Honorary Fellow of the British Academy, Honorary Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, and ForeignHonorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His academic career spans ethology, primatology, and developmental and social psychology, and his most recent books include War No More (2003, with Joseph Rotblat); Why good is good (2002); and Why Gods Persist: A ScientificApproach to Religion (1999).Sir Joseph Rotblat (1908 - 2005) was a nuclear physicist who resigned from the Manhattan Project and became a lifelong fighter for peace. His research into nuclear fall-out became a major factor in the agreement of the Partial Test Ban Treaty. A signatory of the Russell-Einstein manifesto, he became the first secretary general of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs in 1957, and was later to become chairman of British Pugwash and president of Pugwash worldwide. He was awardedthe Nobel Peace Prize in 1995.