The Power of Ideals: The Real Story of Moral Choice

By William Damon & Anne Colby

Book Review: The Power of Ideals

None of us is perfect in our everyday lives — and certainly not in our morality, that inner voice that either moves or holds our moral compass to a compassionate setting. As a people, as a society, there have been eras where we have shown unthinkable inhumanity and others where we have gone to great length to care for others.

For centuries, scholars studying biology through psychology and sociology embraced a variety of theories: survival of the fittest, for one, and the now-popular “new science,” which asserts that we are solely guided by self-preservation and outside sources, rather than by an internal moral compass. And, it seems, the cynical media makes that view seem more credible than it may be.

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