This category contains 249 posts

Academia’s Consilience Crisis

Academia’s Consilience Crisis in Quillette on 4/8/18 addresses a topic I’ve encountered and written about. Academic social science is currently mired in a process and approach that narrows, rather than widens, its thinking. Here’s a quote from a prominent academic social scientist: My field is not very scholarly. We are focused on experiments and methods. … Continue reading

How To Fix American Universities

I suggest that it’s not WHAT people think that’s dividing the country, it’s HOW people think. The divide is not A Conflict of Visions or ideologies or sacred values per se. Those are effects.  It’s a conflict of  cognitive styles, psychological profiles, operating systems if you will. These are the causes from which the effects follow. … Continue reading

Liberalism’s Foundational Premises Are Anti-Science Magical Thinking

The mind is a blank slate at birth. Everything we believe about right and wrong is learned either from formal education or from experience. Humans are driven mostly by conscious reason. Our ability to reason evolved to help us make better decisions and to find truth. Reason is the path to moral truth, and it … Continue reading

The Bluer the County the Higher the Murder Rate

Murder rates in the U.S. by county. (1). Counties that voted for Hillary (blue) and Trump (red) in the 2016 presidential election. (2) Margin of victory (height of column) of each candidate in the blue and red counties. (3) Zip codes in which the population is the most clueless about mainstream white (4) America (5). These are the country’s most prosperous, most highly educated ZIPs … Continue reading

It’s HOW we think, not WHAT we think, that divides us

If it is true that the mind is like a small rider on the back of a huge elephant  – where the elephant represents instinct and intuition which motivates ninety-nine percent of human thought and action and the rider represents conscious reasoning which evolved to help us win arguments by acting as a press secretary on behalf of those … Continue reading

Haidt is the Exception That Proves the Rule

Despite my sometimes strong critiques of Heterodox Academy (@HdxAcademy) I have to say I remain thrilled that Jon Haidt is out there in the world doing what he does. He’s unlike most other academics I encounter, and through this he helps to illustrate and explain what IMHO is a deeper issue than the mere lack of viewpoint … Continue reading

How Heterodox Academy Could Be More Effective

This new review of The Righteous Mind on Amazon helps to explain why I think Heterodox Academy is not as effective as it could be, and why I recommend education in the lessons of The Righteous Mind as a more effective approach. Education goes beyond effects and addresses causes. It bypasses symptoms and inoculates against the … Continue reading


Back in 2010 and 2011 I was honored to be asked by Jonathan Haidt to review a manuscript of his then upcoming book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. Since that time we’ve maintained our correspondence. I’ve asked for and received his permission to publish his responses to three ideas I offered.  … Continue reading

How Heterodox Academy Defeats Itself

Heterodox Academy exists because a small number of academics recognized that academia is in a bubble that insulates it from the rest of the world and that this damages not only the reputations of social scientists, academic professionals in general, and academia as a whole, but also science and education themselves.  I believe that the members of Heterodox Academy (HxA) are good-hearted, well-intentioned, … Continue reading

How Heterodox Academy Makes Things Worse, Not Better

NOTE: The first third of this post is a reprint of a previous one. I’ve added the rest to expand upon my position. I still like Heterodox Academy (HxA) and applaud its efforts. But that doesn’t mean it’s not without flaws, some of which ironically exemplify the need for its existence. To be more effective HxA … 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

Venn Diagram of Liberal and Conservative Traits and Moral Foundations