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The Dynamics of Morals: A Sociopsychological Theory of Ethics

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Item Code: HAI675
Author: Radhakamal Mukerjee
Language: English
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 9788174873682
Pages: 558
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 730 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
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Book Description
About the book

Dr. Radhakamal Mukerjee, a vetern sociologist and economist, in the present volume, outlines a blueprint for a rational ethical theory based on the biology of human nature and on the cohesive forces of human culture. Dr. Mukerjee does not believe in the antithesis between the biological and the cultural sciences and strives to create a new discipline of ethics in which the biosocial nature of man's needs is fully realized and equal attention is paid to special individual choice. The ideal has not been achieved. It will take decades for fruition. But, the time has come when thoughtful men and women across the world should fully awake to the challenge and with right earnest start on the pilgrimage to reach the destination Gardner Murphy assures us that Radhakamal Mukerjee "is exceptionally qualified to guide us in this endevour".

The division between "normal man and immoral society" denotes a crisis in modern civilization which can be resolved by focussing on the development of an integral view of man and his milieu.

Dr. Mukerjee holds that psychology and sociology vitally concerned with the present chaos in values, morals and culture, are best fitted to take the first steps towards bringing about a reunion between individual and social ethics.

About the Author

Dr. Radhakamal Mukerjee (1889-1968) was on of the greatest social scientists of India. He was Professor of Economics and Sociology in Lucknow University and later on Vice-Chancellor in the same University. He played an important and constructive role in country's freedom struggle. He was invited to deliver lectures at many Indian universities and also abroad including UK, Europe, USA and U.S.S.R. He was a highly original philosopher of history, a penetrating interpreter of civilization and a gifted art theorist He wrote more than 50 books covering these and other subjects. He held important positions in some national and international bodies. An American reviewer has considered him to have written "some of the most important works of our century".

Prof. G.R. Madan (b. 1923) M.A. (Econ, & Socio). Dip in Com., LLB, Ph.D. had been teaching in the Department of Sociology and Social Work. University of Lucknow till his retirement in 1984. A widely travelled person Prof. Madan had privilege of working with distinguished sociologists like Prof. Radhakamal Mukerje Harold F. Kaufman and S.L. Andreski at J.K. Institute of Sociology and Human Relations, University of Lucknow, Social Science Research Centre, Mississipi State University (USA) and University of Reading (UK) respectively. Presently he is a visiting Professor of Sociology in Maharaja Surajmal Institute, New Delhi.

V.P. Gupta is a former Professor at Delhi University, Chief Editor, Macmillan India, and Deputy Director, Institute of Constitutional and Parliamentary studies. He has been engaged in teaching, research and publishing activity for the last four decades.


A journey to India meant for me the opportunity to meet and share ideas with inspiring creative thinkers in the social sciences. Among these a cherished friend is Radha- kamal Mukerjee, veteran sociologist and economist, who needs no introduction from me or any one else. With him I shared hours of intensely stimulating intellectual exchange, marked by the range and incisiveness of his observations and his reflections. From human ecology to psycho-analysis, and from group dynamics and the UNESCO studies of social tensions to the broadest problems of human culture, I found him an inexhaustible treasure-house of ideas.

In the present volume he builds upon decades of earlier work both by others and by himself in the establishment of a rational ethical theory based both on the biology of human nature and on the cohesive forces of human culture. We find ourselves lifted altogether out of the false antithesis between the biological and the cultural sciences, and confronted with the challenge to create a science of ethics in which the biosocial nature of man's needs is fully realized with equal attention to what is common to all humanity and to what is special, unique, unrepeatable in the individual ethical choice. The doctrine is not finished; it will take much more work both empirical and integrative. But the challenge is clear, and it is time for thoughtful men and women to awake fully to it. It is time to build an ethics which expresses fully and also flexibly both the personal and the inter-personal realities of human existence, rejecting with equal courage the absolutism of sheer tradition or authority on the one hand, and on the other hand the absolutism of a supposedly self-contained and isolated individual whose needs inevitably conflict with the needs of others.

I believe that Radhakamal Mukerjee is exceptionally qualified to guide us in this endeavour. He is at home both in Eastern and in Western culture; he is at home both in the empirical and in the theoretical disciplines which meet here; and he has the precious gift of integration. How I wish the reader could not only read him, but also listen to the sparkling flow of his thought!.


Man is a unity, but the knowledge of man and his behaviour is now dispersed between two separate compart- ments of research with their own conceptual mirrors and logical equipment and no doors and windows for commu- nication with each other-one assigned to the sciences and their various applications, and the other to ethics, aesthetics, philosophy, metaphysics and religion. In one part of this mansion of human knowledge we have values, meanings, symbols, morals and culture; in the other part there are the social relations and processes as these are in the actual world, the harsh inequalities and affirmations of brute force, rational calculation and struggle for survival and power that the sciences treat, often with an overweening sense of authority and pride. The separation between the two parts that goes back to the rationalism and mind-body dualism of Descartes denotes a crisis in modern civilisation impeding both the advance and effective social application of human knowledge.

Such a deep-seated division is largely responsible for the development of contemporary ethics as a formal doctrine of eternal essences of man's moral perfection, independent of the social structure and processes, and for a sort of antithesis, in the words of Niebuhr, between "moral man and immoral society" in which are rooted individual and collective frustration and aggression in modern culture. An integration between the two parts is to be achieved as much for peace, goodness and justice in collective living as for the validation of the causal hypotheses, explanations and laws of the sciences grounded on a satisfactory epistemology.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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