Taste Buds

This tag is associated with 5 posts

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

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

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

Some of Haidt’s Metaphors Contradict His Findings

[Note:This post was edited on 3/30/13 to include the sentence in bold font.] This post is critical of select portions of Jonathan Haidt’s work so I want to make it clear at the outset that I think his approach, research, findings, and interpretations of those findings in the academic sense are right on the money.  … 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

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