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The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion | [Jonathan Haidt]

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

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 nation.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2012 Jonathan Haidt (P)2012 Gildan Media LLC

What the Critics Say

"Haidt is looking for more than victory. He's looking for wisdom. That's what makes The Righteous Mind well worth reading…. a landmark contribution to humanity’s understanding of itself.” (The New York Times Book Review)

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  •  
    Jerry 03-12-15
    Jerry 03-12-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Fantastic"

    Eye opening look at how and why we are so much alike and so different. A look at the importance of understanding morality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evan Casey Lish 03-08-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Groundbreaking Synthesis!"

    I gave this book fives across the board. Not only is Haidt a masterful researcher, but he is also a masterful storyteller as well. He interweaves all matters of psychology into an intricate tale that involves many significant heroes throughout history. A must-read book for anyone of any discipline, and just a great read in general.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sani Misic 03-08-15
    Sani Misic 03-08-15
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    6
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    "Great book !!"

    It's great way at looking at things, and it make humans lot more understanding why they do things in a way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex 02-20-15
    Alex 02-20-15 Member Since 2013
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    4
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    "Cognitively stimulating"

    This book was very easy to listen to and Jonathan's words and metaphors made it easy to grasp his meanings and follow him into the vast expressions of morals and their roots.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Navarro 4905 Balustrade Blvd Lacey WA 98513 02-13-15
    Navarro 4905 Balustrade Blvd Lacey WA 98513 02-13-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Very very interesting book."

    Fascinating listen, on a very interesting subject. The only complaint I'd have is its very partisan. I happen to like that the author strengthened by beliefs. However the partisanship just doesn't seem objective. on the other hand he makes solid arguments for our "side".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter 01-12-15
    Peter 01-12-15
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    "Mind Opening"
    Where does The Righteous Mind rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It ranks near the top.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It builds on itself making it very easy to follow.


    What about Jonathan Haidt’s performance did you like?

    His voice was very nice to listen to


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Maylands, Australia 01-09-15
    Rob Maylands, Australia 01-09-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Searching for answers? Read this book."

    This book goes a long way towards answering the questions, often unspoken, to do with why we all do and think as we do. Very thought provoking and regularly prompted introspection. Worth another read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saud 01-05-15
    Saud 01-05-15

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I don't agree with everything here, but..."

    This audiobook presents various answers about why people disagree and seek out the "other people" to attack and try to talk them to switching sides. It also looks at confirmation biases and their reasons.

    Overall, this is a book worth reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick Skillman, NJ, United States 12-18-14
    Nick Skillman, NJ, United States 12-18-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Incomprehensible and boring - a rare combination"

    It may be that Dr. Haidt has some interesting insights and novel perspectives on morality, opinion formation and personal choice, but (having listened to this for three or four hours,) I'd have a very hard time telling anybody what they are. The thought process is circuitous and jumbled, the narration seems to emphasize the confusion, and what seem to be rather simple and straightforward conclusions are supported by a maze of incomprehensible procedures and reasoning. Any audiobook that requires graphs and diagrams should have a major disclaimer notice on the order page. I want my credit back.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ARG 12-16-14
    ARG 12-16-14 Member Since 2008
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    "A Welcome and Comprehensive Effort"

    First, I applaud the author for being open about his own biases and perspectives, and in his attempt at objective discovery and understanding. And overall I am a big fan of "centrist" dialog, trying to get off the treadmill of fixed narratives and agendas that so pervade our current culture. The effort is comprehensive, well researched, and the author is enthusiastic. I would probably ponder some aspects, but who am I to say. The one concern I might have is that it took someone this much effort, this much research and time, to actually start to admit his own limitations in perspective, and to acknowledge his own biases. That part is worrisome, not as a reflection on the author, but on the challenge of getting others to see other points of view, to be more respectful, to understand they might not see things that others see. But at least this book is a good contribution overall in that effort.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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