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.
©2012 Jonathan Haidt (P)2012 Gildan Media LLC
"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)
I love Audiobooks. I listen to roughly 50-100 hours a month. It's a good thing I work for Audible!
In terms of books on politics, philosophy and cognitive science, its one of the best.
The book tackles very sensitive topics - people's most closely held beliefs, and explains the WHY in a way that is sensible and non-controversial. Haidt provides a compelling case for why morality may have a genetic basis.
The chapter on Moral Foundations Theory. I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats.
Its not really that kind of book, but the part describing group selection theory was good.
The most boring movie that ever changed your life.
Regardless of your political or religious persuasion, you should listen to this book.
This books provides the best response I have ever read until now to a very deep question: why evolution generated intelligence and rational thought? To have a full time advertising agency that improves our odds to reproduce. Not to reach the truth. At least not in the social environment. This is the author response based on high amount of empirical evidence in the ever more influential field of Evolutionary Psychology. A must read (or heard) for those who want to enlarge their scientific worldview in areas not still fully understood.
This has been the best narration I've heard for a non fiction book. He made intelligent changes helped a listener understand the context of the words better. For example, he marked the beginning and end of each quotation. With most narrators, I found myself having to listen to a passage multiple times to find the start and end of quotes. With this narrator, you could just listen to the content without getting distracted by minor details.
The subject matter is really great as well. I would recommend it to anybody who has felt frustrated by the other side of a political argument. This book will help you an appreciation of where they are coming from and how to appeal to them.
Gained a better understanding of how societies and groups work. Especially interesting to me with an Anthropology background. Best definition of diversity out there without the PC. If anything it's a great story to understand that life tends to be about balance, yin yang. This holds true for the political spectrum of Left and Right.
A MUST READ for anyone with an avid interest in American politics. I would highly recommend this book to people running for office -- especially people who are not affiliated with right-wing politics. What we assume we know may not be as complete as the way things really are.
No single moment. I enjoyed describing human conscience using the metaphor of the elephant and the rider.
Some empathy for the other side. It should help in having more productive discussions.
My only complaint is towards the end when he discusses libertarianism and the free market solution to healthcare. He uses an elective procedure as an example of why competition would work in healthcare. It only works for his example because it is elective and a person would have time to shop around. Urgent and emergency care are not competitive markets because the consumer doesn't have time to be informed. But he is right that the insurance market doesn't incentivize any price controls. It is a small complaint over a bad example.
I like that this book pulled from so many different schools of thought and covered so many topics. Evolutionary biology/psychology, Social Darwinism, drugs, religion, and politics--they are all tied up in a very thought-provoking way.
A well constructed and fresh assertion on social theory from the standpoint of evolutionary psychology.
Note that the author has developed his views from his first book (as he candidly states during the narrative), so it may be advisable to read this first.
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