Thursday, May 3, 2012

‘The Righteous Mind,’ by Jonathan Haidt

The Righteous Mind: 

Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

Jon Haidt uses the social science of psychology to explain the origins and future of morality. 

  • What binds people together?
  • Are people rational or intuitive? 
  • Is the news for information or entertainment? 
  • Is there one and only one right way, one master moral code? 
  • Will religious and political diversity lead us to tolerance and acceptance, or to division and suspicion?

I have heard of other Positive Psychologists, notably Prof. Martin Seligman at U Penn. However, I had not heard of Prof. Jonathan Haidt at U Va until my Uncle mentioned him. Now I cannot wait to read his latest book, The Righteous Mind, and learn more about his philosophy.

Sequence of Events

  • April 29. My Uncle shows me his copy of The Righteous Mind. I make note of it and add it to my wish list.
  • May 2. I catch author Jon Haidt on the Colbert Report, and text my Uncle.
  • May 3. Good email feedback from my Uncle inspires me to introduce Haidt to blog readers with my endorsement.

Central ideas: 

  • All things are connected, and 
  • Getting along, i.e., maintaining balance, is essential. 

Here are some helpful resources for understanding Haidt: