This category contains 285 posts

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

The Misuse of “Let go of for and against.”

I get the feeling that those who subscribe to the telos of social justice honestly believe that they exemplify the personality trait of Openness, and are letting go of for and against as Jonathan Haidt recommended in his 2008 TED Talk. I also get the feeling that the way they’re doing is  the exact opposite, … Continue reading

How Our Fixation on Evidence and Reason Blinds Us to Content and Meaning (Twitter Thread as Essay)

I struggle at times to succinctly articulate ideas that in my mind are, dare I say, self-evident. Concepts that seem to me obvious common sense are sometimes exceedingly difficult for others to “get.” I don’t mean to say that I’m right and they’re wrong, or that I’m smart and they’re not. Far from it. I … Continue reading

Can Evolution Explain Why There Are Two Predominant Ideologies Rather Than Just One? Maybe Yes.

  Evolution shaped our minds as well as our bodies.  Our bodies are all the same. We all have the same basic structure, organs, etc., and they all work the same way. It seems only natural that our minds would all work the same way too. But that’s not the case. Research into human thought … Continue reading

A Critique of “Valuing Civility: Moral Pollution, Preference Falsification, and the Demise of Civil Society”

Fasten your seatbelts, this post is going to be a bumpy ride. There’s little turbulence in the early going, but the final approach is gonna throw you around. Rutgers Professor Lee Jussim has blogged extensively at Psychology Today about how the discipline of psychology leans strongly to the left. Jussim provides example after example 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