This category contains 234 posts

One of Many Reasons There Are So Few Conservatives In Academia

Academic study naturally leans toward reductive, analytical, WEIRD, world full of objects rather than relationships, rationalist thinking.  This is not a criticism.  Its just the nature of the beast, and understandably so.  Academia favors, the abstract reasoning of the Platonic cognitive style. The liberal physiological profile ALSO leans toward rationalist thinking.  Liberals think more analytically, … Continue reading

Science is Rational. Rationalism Isn’t Science.

Science rests on the assumption that the human brain is NOT capable of finding truth through observation and reasoning alone.  Science is epistemically humble.  Science assumes there are things we don’t know and can’t possibly know through brainpower alone. The best we can do is make educated guesses. Based on those guesses we then make … Continue reading

Our Behavioral Autopilot is Off Course

In their book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard Chip and Dan Heath tell the story of Mike Romano, a US soldier who got hooked on hard drugs in Vietnam, and managed to quit them after he returned home. The Heaths credit the cultural environment in which Romano was immersed upon his return … Continue reading

Dennis Prager: The Intellectual and Moral Vacancy of Leftist Thought and the Danger it Presents

Heterodox Academy Risks Becoming a Catch-23

Most everyone has heard of a Catch-22: a problem for which the solution is prevented by the circumstances that created it. But not everyone knows of a Catch-23 which, according to urbandictionary.com, is a solution that’s worse than the problem it solves. With respect, I suggest that Heterodox Academy risks becoming a Catch-23. Here’s the … Continue reading

Augustine vs. Rousseau: A Metaphor for the Psychological Root Cause of the Culture War

I suggest that the root cause of the dynamic that played out between two factions of students in a philosophy class (described below) is the same one that is causing the culture war in Western civilization at large.  The split in the class was a microcosm of the ever increasing partisan divide.   In Augustine vs. … Continue reading

“The Righteous Mind” Explains Why Trump is Right About NFL Kneelers: Moral Capital is Real, and it Matters.

Politics is more like religion than it is like shopping.  In The Political Brain, Drew Westen points out that the Republicans have become the party of the sacred, appropriating not just the issues of God, faith, and religion, but also the sacred symbols of the nation such as the Flag and the military. The Democrats, … Continue reading

Most Analyses Today Are Wrong. Here’s One That’s Right.

I think there’s truth in the analysis in Gorka: Roy Moore’s Victory in Alabama Primary a ‘Revolutionary Moment in American Politics’. The Trump and Brexit wins were not about nationalism, populism, or authoritarianism.   I think when people attribute those wins, and the continuing sentiments they represent, to those things they’re not really thinking it through. Instead … Continue reading

Haidt is Egregiously Wrong About “Provocateurs” and “Trolls”

In a video interview of Johnathan Haidt by Wall Street Journal Robert L. Bartley Fellow Zachary Wood on the question of What’s At Stake When We Don’t Teach Free Speech Haidt says the following (at about 1:52): You know it’s tough because there is there is an actual tension if you take both sides to their … Continue reading

What Heterodox Academy Gets Wrong

Heterodox Academy is my favorite organization fighting for free speech and intellectual honesty but I think it doesn’t see the elephant in the room and therefore represents a huge missed opportunity.  I think with Moral Foundations Theory (MFT) and The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (TRM) social science was on the … 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