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.
List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface to the 2004 Edition
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?
About the Author