The Righteous Mind

The Righteous Mind : Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

4.16 (15,717 ratings by Goodreads)
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Why can't our political leaders work together as threats loom and problems mount? Why do people so readily assume the worst about the motives of their fellow citizens? In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding. His starting point is moral intuition--the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt shows us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right. He blends his own research findings with those of anthropologists, historians, and other psychologists to draw a map of the moral domain, and he explains why conservatives can navigate that map more skillfully than can liberals. He then examines the origins of morality, overturning the view that evolution made us fundamentally selfish creatures. But rather than arguing that we are innately altruistic, he makes a more subtle claim--that we are fundamentally groupish. It is our groupishness, he explains, that leads to our greatest joys, our religious divisions, and our political affiliations. In a stunning final chapter on ideology and civility, Haidt shows what each side is right about, and why we need the insights of liberals, conservatives, and libertarians to flourish as a more

Product details

  • Hardback | 419 pages
  • 162.56 x 236.22 x 43.18mm | 703.06g
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Random House Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0307377903
  • 9780307377906
  • 70,869

Review quote

"What drives our personal morality (like judging that eating your pet dog after it dies is bad)? What determines our political or religious beliefs (like preferring burial over cremation)? Why do some people love new experiences (for example, trying new foods) whilst others treating them as 'untouchable'? Jon Haidt's highly readable book is an elegantly written revelation of how powerful evolved emotions (like betrayal or disgust) sway our judgment and our reasons for our values (like loyalty or justice). His research has revolutionized the field of moral psychology by 'Darwinizing' it, providing answers to questions that have puzzled philosophers for millenia. His book has far-reaching implications for anthropology, politics, moral philosophy and social psychology. If you want someone to get under your skin, to surgically reveal why you feel your beliefs are right, read this book." -Simon Baron-Cohen, Cambridge University, Author of "Zero Degrees of Empathy "and" The Science of Evil "show more

About Jonathan Haidt

Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University's Stern School of Business. He is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom. He lives in New York more

Table of contents

Introduction  Part I Intuitions Come First, Strategic Reasoning Second 1 Where Does Morality Come From? 2 The Intuitive Dog and Its Rational Tail 3 Elephants Rule 4 Vote for Me (Here’s Why) Part II There’s More to Morality than Harm and Fairness 5 Beyond WEIRD Morality 6 Taste Buds of the Righteous Mind 7 The Moral Foundations of Politics 8 The Conservative Advantage Part III Morality Binds and Blinds 9 Why Are We So Groupish? 10 The Hive Switch 11 Religion Is a Team Sport 12 Can’t We All Disagree More Constructively? Conclusion Acknowledgments Notes References Indexshow more

Rating details

15,717 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 44% (6,948)
4 35% (5,550)
3 15% (2,314)
2 4% (610)
1 2% (295)
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