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The Independent Whig

The Independent Whig has written 379 posts for The Independent Whig

It’s Worse Than It Looks: What Most People Don’t Understand About the Partisan Divide


It is NOT TRUE that the partisan divide is a struggle between similar people who happen to vote differently. It IS TRUE that it is between different kinds of people. The implications of this are enormous. The primary factor that differentiates the two kinds of people is cognitive style – operating system, if you will, … Continue reading

The Deal We’ve Made With Each Other


If we step back from it all and try to view ourselves from the perspective of an outer-space alien anthropologist we see that religions, ideologies, moralities, political parties, the animosities among them, all of it, is downstream from the tribal righteous minds natural selection has given us. Of which we are almost universally oblivious, like … Continue reading

How to Bridge the Divide: The Moral Foundation of Meaning/Indifference


We humans have a deep-seated need to feel heard. Being heard confers meaning, purpose, to one’s existence. It makes us feel like we matter. Not being heard denies us these things; makes us feel like we don’t matter.  People on both sides of the political aisle feel that they’re not being heard, which causes them to lash out. This explains much of … Continue reading

Evidence of the Heart: A Cry for Meaning


A friend of mine, Jochen Weber, whom I met at the first Heterodox Academy Open Mind conference, wrote this. I liked it so much I asked him if it would be OK if I posted it on my blog.  He said yes.  Here it is: It happened very much by chance, and it was a … Continue reading

The Tyranny of Reason


  The first principle of moral psychology is intuition comes first and reasoning follows, where “follows” means both 1) comes after and 2) takes direction from.  All reasoning is motivated reasoning, the purpose of which is to justify, defend, profess, and persuade others of, our own intuitive sense. And yet, practically all social and political … Continue reading

The Blame for Partisan Divisiveness Starts With Early Education


Kids score higher on reading comprehension tests when they have prior knowledge of the material they’re reading than when they don’t. Kids with “bad” reading comprehension score about the same as kids with “good” reading comprehension when neither group has prior knowledge of the material. By the time they get to college most kids have … Continue reading

Lee Jussim’s Twitter Thread Illustrates The Cognitive Theory of Politics


The Twitter thread below after the double line (e.g., ======) by Rutgers professor of psychology, Lee Jussim ( @PsychRabble ) provides supporting evidence for the Cognitive Theory of Politics.   The Cognitive Theory of Politics maintains that the political left and right are best understood as psychological profiles, each of which experiences the world in its … Continue reading

The Cognitive Theory of Politics Fills the Hole in Moral Foundations Theory


I’m rereading The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion for a project I’m working on. As you know (I hope) the seeds for my Cognitive Theory of Politics are in there. One of them is Haidt’s discussion of WEIRD vs Holistic style of thought. Another is this quote: Enlightenment thinkers … Continue reading

The Social Cancer of the West? (by way of Cancer Talk #4: The Next Phase Begins)


If natural selection is survival of the most adaptable then the clear winner is cancer. This is a key takeaway from The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, which I’ve been listening to in my car this week during my commute. Cancer adapts to its environment. Treatment may at first push it back … Continue reading

Moral Foundations Perform Many Functions but are Insufficient to Fully Describe Morality


I believe that Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory as described in his book The Righteous Mind, in the many academic research papers he’s published, and in talks he’s given, many of which are available online, indicate that Moral Foundations perform many functions.  1) They are the primary colors of the moral spectrum from which every morality … Continue reading

I Support Viewpoint Diversity

www.heterodoxacademy.org

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.

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Venn Diagram of Liberal and Conservative Traits and Moral Foundations and