This category contains 7 posts

Liberal Hegemony in Academia “No Platforms” Truths of Human Nature and Thereby Exacerbates Partisan Discord

Articles like The Big Uneasy, the interview of Timothy Garton Ash, and many others highlighted by Heterodox Academy as these were, or written by its members, remind me of the fable of the blind men and the elephant, in which each blind man touched a different part of the elephant and concluded he had encountered a … Continue reading

Are Moral Foundations Named Incorrectly, Leading to Misunderstanding?

I’m just thinking out loud here, but based on reactions to Moral Foundations from many liberals I can’t help but wonder sometimes if all of the foundations are properly named. I think Haidt’s choice of words for some of the foundations may be unfortunate because they’re potentially off-putting to liberals when they needn’t be. They’re loaded … Continue reading

Human History Explained in Ten Statements

This is first attempt at communicating an idea I’ve been kicking around for a while.  It has finally formed clearly enough out of a cloud of thoughts for me to write it down.  With time I may refine or enhance it, expand or contract it, or morph it into something else.  For the moment, here’s what I’m … Continue reading

Redskins Trademark Ruling

The Federalist recently published an article by Robert Tracinski about the Redskins Trademark Ruling: Why The Redskins Trademark Ruling Should Terrify You. Anyone deemed politically incorrect is now outside the law.  I believe that Moral Foundations Theory helps us to understand the ruling and reactions to it like Tacinski’s. Tacinski reacts the way he does because … Continue reading

Jonathan Haidt’s Metaphors Sacrifice Completeness and Accuracy in Favor of Parsimony and Ideology, Part II: Taste Buds

This is Part II of a two-part essay in which I attempt to make the case that several of the metaphors Jonathan Haidt uses to help convey the lessons of his study of morality do more harm than good to his Moral Foundations Theory (MFT), to our understanding of the partisan divide, and potentially to … Continue reading

Jonathan Haidt’s Metaphors Sacrifice Completeness and Accuracy in Favor of Parsimony and Ideology, Part I: Yin/Yang

Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory (MFT) and the science behind it are solid and defensible. They will become ever more so as he continues to refine and enhance it via the scientific community’s process of peer review and criticism. I’m a huge fan.  It’s because I’m a fan that I’m disappointed in the metaphors he’s … Continue reading

Is “Groupthink” Evidence of Another Moral Foundation?

The Evils of Groupthink and Sound Bites, by Steve Tobak on FoxBusiness.com today resonates with Haidt’s idea of “groupishness.” Interestingly (to me), our tendency toward the herd mentality of groupthink does not seem to be about morality, per se, or about the fact that “morality binds and blinds,” as Haidt’s third principle of moral psychology contends.  … Continue reading

Some of Haidt’s Metaphors Contradict His Findings

[Note:This post was edited on 3/30/13 to include the sentence in bold font.] This post is critical of select portions of Jonathan Haidt’s work so I want to make it clear at the outset that I think his approach, research, findings, and interpretations of those findings in the academic sense are right on the money.  … Continue reading

How To Better Articulate Conservatism (and Liberalism too)

As he began his tenure as president of The Heritage Foundation Jim DeMint said that “Conservatives need to better articulate their message if they are to prevail in the war of ideas.”  (1) In The Washington Post he wrote, “Conservative policies have proved their worth time and time again. If we’re not communicating in a … Continue reading

Toward A More Accurate Political Spectrum

What is the fundamental problem all societies try to solve? The fundamental problem is the resolution of the natural tension that exists between human desire for individual autonomy and the limits that must necessarily be placed on that autonomy in order for cooperative society to exist.  It is finding the proper balance between the individualizing foundations … 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