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The Partisan Divide

This category contains 10 posts

Why “Compromise” Rankles


It goes without saying, and yet I’ve said it many times, but just to be sure, so the reader knows where I’m coming from, I’ll say it again: I think  the work of Jonathan Haidt offers a Rosetta Stone for understanding the political divide AND for working to ameliorate it.  I wish that every person … Continue reading

Yeah, about that (purple) cake


I posted a couple comments recently to a blog post entitled Let Them Eat (purple) Cake at The Village Square. I love and support the ideals of The Village Square, which, if I understand them correctly, are to bring a more fact-based empirical reality and intellectual humility, and through these increased civility and friendship, to … Continue reading

“Progressive Kristallnacht”


In a recent letter he wrote to the editor of the Wall Street Journal, Tom Perkins, co-founder of the silicon valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers caused quite a stir when he compared what he perceives to be “a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent” to the Kristallnacht attacks … 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 Liberal Bias in Academia Denial of Science?


After an email exchange with an acquaintance it appears that I may need to adjust the phrasing of my suggestion that teaching Moral Foundations Theory (MFT) in age appropriate modules in K-12 public schools would be a powerful avenue of approach toward shrinking the political divide and reducing the demonization that flows across it.  It … Continue reading

Jonathan Haidt Ignores the Largest Factor Causing the Partisan Divide, and His Own Findings, to Blame Republicans Instead


A high school friend of mine, I’ll call him Kevin, is outgoing and curious in a mischievous way. He once saw a squirrel climb into a lone tree with no other trees around it. Kevin climbed up the tree after the squirrel. The squirrel climbed higher, Kevin did too.  This continued until the squirrel could climb … Continue reading

Chris Matthews is Morally Dumbfounded


According to this article, apparently Chris Matthews believes that Republicans: “Never Say Their Problem With Obama Is That He Is Black.” As Jonathan Haidt describes in The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, moral dumbfounding is when a person is “rendered speechless by their inability to explain verbally what they … Continue reading

What Moral Foundations Really Are, and How They Help Us To Diagnose and Treat The Political Divide


1) Moral foundations are evolved psychological mechanisms of moral and social perception. They are senses. Each moral foundation provides its possessor with a predisposition to perceive the particular aspect of human behavior that is associated with that foundation. The metaphor I like to use is this: Moral foundations are to moral and social perception as … 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

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