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 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.
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.
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".
It ranks near the top.
It builds on itself making it very easy to follow.
His voice was very nice to listen to
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.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
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.
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.
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.
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