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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.

©2012 Jonathan Haidt (P)2012 Gildan Media LLC

Critic Reviews

"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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Potentially life-changing book, if you'll allow it

Where does The Righteous Mind rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's in the top three I'd say.

Any additional comments?

The material is simply so well structured -- distilled in such a way as to remove any sort of obstructive bias -- considering the delicate nature of the subject matter; as a result of this, it ought to carry broad appeal to people across the political spectrum... and the message is very powerful.

Very highly recommended, regardless of your background and predispositions.

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Brilliant

I love the full thought that Haidt completes. He points out "the log in your own eye" for both sides of religion and politics, and does so with a purpose for understanding and more civil dialogue. His points on tribalism within groups as well as intuition before reason are scientifically sound, yet his own conclusions will likely be not taken well by some people because of the exact reasons he points out in the book (aka those that don't intuitively get it)

Anytime an author reads their own book it's an awesome version. Absolutely true here. I'll probably listen again.

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Strong logical case

It's actually one of the best books I've "read" in a few years content-wise. He takes his time putting together a strong research based argument for his 6 pillars of morality. You'll get thatin the first 3 quarters of the book. But the last half sounded like a rushed attempt to try to conclude that conservatism is superior in some ways because of the morality case he made. But the arguments were much more loose and weak. The first 3/4 I'd the book was excellent reading. After he establishes those pillars, there isn't much of value to gain but I still have it 5 stars simply because of the material being that strong in the beginning. It's written for a rationally minded liberal audience to get them to understand conservatives better. I'm not sure if the average conservative would necessarily agree with his arguments because a lot of it invokes evolution, which isn't as popular on the right. But they'd like to hear someone conservative make a rationa/scientific case for their side. I don't agree with all of his conclusions, but he has enough good content in here that is still worth reading and a free thinking person can see for themselves where his loose ends are.

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  • Martin
  • Praha 518, Czech Republic
  • 01-14-18

Enlightening

I have read a number of popular science books on human psychology. I found this one really enlightening, especially given the current rift in politics and religion. The book offers interesting views on how our moral foundations are different and how that impacts our ability to understand each other. Coming from perhaps the most secular country in the world, the part on religion made me pause and consider the alternative view. The part in politics shed some light on how to lead a reasonable discussion. Highly recommended.

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Transcedence!

Book goes into Deep understanding of peoples reasoning for their beliefs. Whether it be political or moral.

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No more headaches

Once you understand how deeply rooted political positions are in a person's psychopathology, you can avoid a long and wasted effort in explaining your position to an opponent. Can't rewire another being - Especially if they are high in neuroticism. After reading this my blood pressure won't boil when I can't comprehend why someone else can't comprehend what I'm telling them. Dr. Haidt did a fantastic job with the narration. Can't wait to listen to it again.

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turning point in my understanding of human society

well performed by the author himself, need to listen again to absorb everything. highly recommended

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Teaching political humility in an age of arrogance

Loved it. Add it to your book club list. For everyone tired with the 24/7 news cycle will gain deeper insights why they feel that way.

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Really good but really heady

I liked this book a lot. It's insight was good. The author builds his argument well and does a good job of explaining why good people are divided... If I get time or feel like listening to something I have to work at, I might would listen to it again. I felt like I was in a college class as far as information. If it is a question you are interested in having an answer to, then it is worth a listen for you.

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Essential listening

Phenomenal book that systematically drops down into who we are as people, individually and collectively.