Man is distinguished by his pursuit of values. He is of the earth, but his thoughts are with the stars. Mean and petty are his wants and desires yet they serve a soul exalted with grand, glorious airs, with immortal longings, with thoughts which sweep the heavens and wander through eternity.
Values are the goals generated by man’s drives and attitudes; psychology is useful in understanding values in the framework of man’s personality. Man lives in a society which conditions his behaviour; therefore sociology is useful in understanding the theories of values. But man is not a mere member of society. The ideal and the transcendent influence his behaviour for which philosophy is useful in understanding the theories of values. Thus, philosophy is a dialectical standpoint attained by the interaction between psychology and sociology. This study is limited only to those psychologists, sociologists and philosophers, who have discussed values and is approached from both the West and the East.
Man is a value-laden being possessed of a dignity and excellence untouched by the genetic principle. Man is thus the fulcrum which secures value in what otherwise must be a value-free world.
The leaf of the pipal tree (Ficus religiosa, family: Moraceae) is used in this book, as it symbolizes the quintessence of values. Its vast spread have made people in rural India to erect benches at the base, which are used by village elders to hold panchayat (village administration) meetings, while women socialize or exhibit wares for sale and children utilize the space for recreation-thus political, social, economic and recreational values are supported by the pipal tree.
Sundari Krishnamurthy has been a career academic for over four decades at Stella Maris College (Autonomous) affiliated to the University of Madras from 1975 to 2019. She is an active academician, who has presented over 170 papers, articles and presentations in numerous national and international conferences; guided thesis research at various levels including doctoral students; involved in the design of new courses and curriculum development and served in various advisory committees.
She was the Fulbright-Scholar-in-Residence for the year 2000-01, at the Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, U.S.A, where she designed, developed, and taught a semester-long Asian Humanities course. She has guest lectured and served as consultant, in various institutions, both national and international and has developed and taught innovative courses in philosophy, logic, communication and public relations.
As a social scientist, she has spearheaded numerous case studies, developmental projects, and training programs. The social impact of technology namely Internet, in the villages of south India, field surveys of local fishing and tribal communities, study of air pollution and water management, empowerment of women and communication media in India are some of the challenging projects undertaken by her.
She is a lifetime member of several prestigious organizations including, Madras Philosophy Society, Madras Psychology Society, Indian Society of Health Administrators, Indian Society for Training and Development and also a member of International Communication Association and FICCI Ladies Organization.
She has been an Item Writer, Examiner and Expert Member for the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission, Union Public Service Commission and Staff Selection Commission.
She was Director of the Centre for Networking and Communications (2013-2019) in which she executed outreach programs with Chambers of commerce, N.G.Os, Corporate CSR departments and Government departments like KVIC, CPPPI, C.S.C. e-governance, National Literacy Mission and PMGDISHA.