The Independent Whig

The Independent Whig has written 296 posts for The Independent Whig

Cognitive Style is a Moral Foundation

William James believed as I do that Left and Right are personality types; what I call psychological profiles, cognitive styles, or even brain types. His personality types precede Sowell’s visions by eighty years but have many parallels. I disagree with a couple of the items in James’ columns below, but that’s quibbling. The larger point remains, … Continue reading

The New Cult of Reason

Pulling the thread of logic Tim Keller starts in this short video: https://youtu.be/7ZmEj7ibcx4 If Keller is right that human rights can’t be proved empirically and are a matter of faith then every ideology is a faith, a religion. I argued this very concept here: https://theindependentwhig.com/2013/06/11/religion-morality-and-ideology-different-names-for-the-same-underlying-element-of-human-nature/ Social Justice is a religion.  Haidt agrees; Social Justice is … Continue reading

The Hierarchy of Evolved Psychology, Morality, and Public Policy

With the science-based definitions of liberalism and conservatism in mind, here’s how I perceive the steps in the ladder from the bottom rungs of “evolved psychological mechanisms” of “fast” subconscious moral intuitions to the middle rungs of “slow” conscious reasoning of ideological principles and tenets to the top rungs of the policy prescriptions we all … Continue reading

Science-Based Definitions of Conservatism and Liberalism

It’s long been a belief of many that there’s no single definition of liberalism or conservatism, and in order to understand each we need to look at the tenets, principles, arguments, and actions espoused by each side’s most eloquent spokesmen and try to tease out from those things the fundamental differences between the two world views. … Continue reading

Theory of Cognitive Style in Three Sentences

The essence of my thesis is that a great many factors that contribute to partisan divisiveness are common to all humans regardless of ideology – things like the confirmation bias, tribalism, hypocrisy, and on and on – and that the actual number of things that separate left and right are small, but their effects are … Continue reading

The Blame for the Current State of Partisan Rancor Rests in Academia

In Ninnies, Pedants, Tyrants, and Other Academics Camille Paglia elegantly and eloquently echoes an idea I expressed more clumsily in Social Science = Rationalism, Rationalism = Pedantry, Pedantry Exacerbates the Ideological Divide.  Here’s Paglia: The No. 1 problem today is not ignorant students but ignorant professors, who have substituted narrow “expertise” and “theoretical sophistication” (a preposterous … Continue reading

Deepwater Horizon

I’m 35 minutes into the movie Deepwater Horizon on DVD. Love it. Here are some lines spoken by the character of a lead engineer played by Mark Wahlberg speaking to the company executive who’s pressuring the rig workers to proceed  with the next phase of the work faster than they feel comfortable with.  “I think you … Continue reading

Three Stories About Government

“What if we were to judge people, and ideologies, by their results, rather than by their intentions?” – Jonathan Haidt, Three Stories About Capitalism; a blog post on the web site for The Righteous Mind  In his upcoming book Jonathan Haidt will explore the two predominant perspectives, or stories, about capitalism.  Story One is Capitalism is … Continue reading

K-16 Education System Teaches Students to Slur, Not Argue

In an appearance on the Charlie Rose TV show Haidt identified the root cause of The Yale Problem. My only quibble is that it does not start in colleges as Haidt claims here, or even in high schools as he has claimed elsewhere, but rather in kindergarten as I explain in another post, here.   Mark Lilla had … Continue reading

A Critique of Heterodox Academy 

Heterodox Academy seems well intentioned in a No Labels, “Can we all get along?” sort of way. And of course viewpoint diversity is AN important aspect in the battle against the leftist Fascism (but I repeat myself) that has overtaken not just campuses but all of Western culture. But it is by no means the … Continue reading

I Support Viewpoint Diversity


A politically diverse group of social scientists, natural scientists, humanists, and other scholars who want to improve our academic disciplines and universities. We share a concern about a growing problem: the loss or lack of “viewpoint diversity.” When nearly everyone in a field shares the same political orientation, certain ideas become orthodoxy, dissent is discouraged, and errors can go unchallenged.

An Interpretation of Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory

This sidebar lists a series of posts which together make up an essay relating Moral Foundations Theory to today's politics, and even a little history, as viewed through The Independent Whig's six-foundation moral lens.


Venn Diagram of Liberal and Conservative Traits and Moral Foundations and