Reason is for Winning

This tag is associated with 6 posts

Human History Explained in Ten Statements

This is first attempt at communicating an idea I’ve been kicking around for a while.  It has finally formed clearly enough out of a cloud of thoughts for me to write it down.  With time I may refine or enhance it, expand or contract it, or morph it into something else.  For the moment, here’s what I’m … Continue reading

Jonathan Haidt’s Metaphors Sacrifice Completeness and Accuracy in Favor of Parsimony and Ideology, Part II: Taste Buds

This is Part II of a two-part essay in which I attempt to make the case that several of the metaphors Jonathan Haidt uses to help convey the lessons of his study of morality do more harm than good to his Moral Foundations Theory (MFT), to our understanding of the partisan divide, and potentially to … Continue reading

Religion, Morality, and Ideology: Like Things That Should Be Judged Alike.

Introduction This post is the second half of a two part essay.  In part one I argued that religions, moralities, and ideologies are different manifestations of a single underlying element of human nature: our tendency to form into groups of like-minded people and compete with other groups.  In this post I continue that argument and make the additional claim that since … Continue reading

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

Reason is for Winning, Not Truth Finding (and Moral Foundations are the Rider’s Tools of Reason)

In The Moral Mind: How five sets of innate intuitions guide the development of many culture-specific virtues, and perhaps even modules (1) Haidt describes moral foundations as analogous to “innate ‘taste buds’ of the moral sense,” saying “The taste buds on the tongue gather perceptual information (about sugars, acids, etc.) whereas the taste buds of … Continue reading

Introduction to The Fallacy of Reason

I think that a lot of the rancor in politics these days is attributable to several false presuppositions many of us hold about how we arrive at our beliefs, and about how we relate with one another. If there is to be any hope of improving not only civility across the political aisle but also … 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