The Fallacy of Reason

This category contains 7 posts

Religion, Morality, and Ideology: Like Things That Should Be Judged Alike.

Introduction This post is the second half of a two part essay.  In part one I argued that religions, moralities, and ideologies are different manifestations of a single underlying element of human nature: our tendency to form into groups of like-minded people and compete with other groups.  In this post I continue that argument and make the additional claim that since … Continue reading

The Rider and the Elephant

We humans like to think we’re rational beings, choosing our path through life via dispassionate analysis of objective facts.  But that’s really an illusion.  The fact is, we’re driven mostly by instinct and intuition; by our “gut feel” and our innate visceral sense of like and dislike.   Imagine that you are walking through a museum … Continue reading

Reason is for Winning, Not Truth Finding (and Moral Foundations are the Rider’s Tools of Reason)

In The Moral Mind: How five sets of innate intuitions guide the development of many culture-specific virtues, and perhaps even modules (1) Haidt describes moral foundations as analogous to “innate ‘taste buds’ of the moral sense,” saying “The taste buds on the tongue gather perceptual information (about sugars, acids, etc.) whereas the taste buds of … Continue reading

Introduction to The Fallacy of Reason

I think that a lot of the rancor in politics these days is attributable to several false presuppositions many of us hold about how we arrive at our beliefs, and about how we relate with one another. If there is to be any hope of improving not only civility across the political aisle but also … Continue reading

We Are All Hypocrites Now (actually, we always have been)

When thinking about politics, or about some other issue related to morality, have you ever thought something like, “The facts are available for everyone to see, and the story they tell is obvious to anyone who bothers to look, as I do.  Therefore, anyone who disagrees with me either does not have all the facts … Continue reading

The Rider and The Elephant

Imagine that you are walking through a museum with a friend.  You turn a corner, see a painting for the first time, and your immediate reaction is to say, “Oh I like that.”  Your friend asks, “Really?  Why?  What is it about the painting that makes you like it?”  Only then do you consciously come … Continue reading

About The Independent Whig

NOTE: This post shows the About page as it originally appered.  The About page will be updated occasionally as this blog develops and matures. Introduction: This blog takes its name from a series of essays written in 1720 by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, whose later work was serialized in The London Journal, and then … 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