This category contains 279 posts

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

Nine Challenges to Moral Foundations Theory

In this post I accept the invitation to submit challenges, constructive criticisms, of Moral Foundations Theory that was issues by its authors.  I’ve written about these challenges in other posts.  In this post I summarize them in one place and provide links to the other posts, related essays, and other sources. [NOTE: This post is … Continue reading

The Partisan Divide in One Image, Five Different Ways, Plus Bonus Text

  ================================================================================================== ================================================================================================== ================================================================================================== ================================================================================================== ================================================================================================== Jonathan Haidt’s body of work supports the argument that the best metaphor for describing liberalism and conservatism is that of Flatland and Spaceland, where liberals are two dimensional “square” Flatlanders and conservatives are three dimensional “sphere” Spacelanders.  Here’s his summary of Flatland from page 182 of his book The Happiness … Continue reading

Change the Path or Change the People?

The American Constitution and capitalism are successful because they change the path. The French Revolution and communism/socialism/collectivism fail because they try to change the people. Changing the path and changing the people are defining characteristic traits of the Constrained and Unconstrained visions, which is to say of conservatism and leftism. It causes no end of … 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