Individualizing Foundations

This tag is associated with 10 posts

Education System Messes Up the Brain’s Interpreter Module; Exacerbates Partisanship

During my daily commute I’ve been listening to the audio version of Who’s in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain, by Michael S. Gazzaniga.  Gazzaniga’s insights about the human brain help to make the case that the most effective strategy in The War On Partisanship would be my education program. The brain is a wonder of … 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

“The Righteous Mind” Critiqued in Three Pictures

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

Toward A More Accurate Political Spectrum

What is the fundamental problem all societies try to solve? The fundamental problem is the resolution of the natural tension that exists between human desire for individual autonomy and the limits that must necessarily be placed on that autonomy in order for cooperative society to exist.  It is finding the proper balance between the individualizing foundations … Continue reading

Yes, I Am “Judgmental”: An Overview of the Position of The Independent Whig

JSWagner, a reader of this blog, made a fair and well reasoned comment to the post in which I observed that Opennes Is Not A Moral Foundation. He said that I can be judgmental, and that there’s sometimes a negative tone to my writing about ideas I don’t agree with.  He said that I “castigated” … Continue reading

Moral Foundations “Check and Balance” Each Other

  I used to tell my kids, “Why do you think a car has brakes?” And they all would say, “To stop.” And I’d say, “No, a car has brakes so that you can drive fast. If you got into a car that had no brakes and you knew it, how fast do you think … Continue reading

Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft: Conservatism is the Seedbed of Liberalism

When there’s food on the table there are many problems. When there’s no food on the table there is only one problem. – Proverb I believe that the six-foundation morality – “all the tools in the toolbox” – puts food on the table by allowing humans to create cooperative societies. Those societies then provide the … Continue reading

Do Liberals Really “Care” More?

In Moral Psychology and the Misunderstanding of Religion Haidt makes the following observation about liberal morality: But if you try to apply this two-foundation [i.e., liberal] morality to the rest of the world, you either fail or you become Procrustes. Most traditional societies care about a lot more than harm/care and fairness/justice. Why do so … 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 Moral Foundations