Today among the few remaining hunter-gatherer societies, this is not uncommon. What's a 'moral matrix'? Participants were then asked to write down all the reasons they could come up with on either side of the issue. For example, ask people to sign their expense reports at the beginning, promising to be honest, rather than at the end, claiming to have been honest. As the eighth- century Chinese Zen master Sen-ts'an wrote:   The Perfect Way is only difficult for those who pick and choose; Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. Let's try to work it out." Nowadays, nerds who were marginalized in high school end up as elites in silicon valley and Wall Street and Washington, DC. In that respect, I think it’s quite wrong to say that the classical image of rational animals is of rational agents that are just sometimes beset by various passions. However, you only get a result like this if the appropriate rules to which we hold each other to account are determined solely by their extrinsic utility. Why do people so readily assume the worst about the motives of their fellow citizens? I think it’s in the nature of the case that the evidence here is vague and imprecise and based on clinical impressions and plays on people’s horror of the phenomenon of psychopathy. The elephant tells you nothing. To change this data, submit a. But so much of it is original and fresh, that I give the book five stars. Apart from the nature / nurture debate—a psychological breakdown of morals—Haidt also goes over how morals are related to the body (i.e. They do not employ any sort of systematic arithmetic operations. Indeed, the rider will exploit any fallacies that will get the job done, including blatant appeals to the jurors’ emotions, sympathy, and prejudices. Even if we don’t have a good, full functional account of what justifying ourselves to others is, there is a pattern to the reasons we give others – again, roughly, we are telling them why it is okay why we are doing something that they might not like or calling them out on their behavior thus inviting shunning and punishment from the community. Haidt doesn’t always separate laziness (i.e., general avoidance of controlled processing) from motivated cognition (rationalization), but they aren’t the same and should be kept separate. But Haidt’s focus is otherwise. The educational psychologist David Perkins calls this, amusingly, the “makes-sense epistemology.” I leave it to the reader to judge whether this description does not come uncomfortably close to his own thought processes too much of the time. This sort of dual process theory is in a fair way to becoming orthodoxy in contemporary psychology. We are practically the only predator that regularly hunts creatures our own size (or larger) and that does not depend primarily on lower quality game (the young, the old, the diseased). 274. Haidt doesn’t really describe any actual research, but he claims that Wundt’s thesis was revived and somehow validated in the 1980s by Robert Zajonc (a big-shot psychologist). How can this concept help us better understand the moral motivations of others? We should distinguish reasoning from intelligence. It was only recently that I developed an an interest in politics. Having found it, we can stop thinking and generally do. Part III is about the third principle: Morality binds and blinds . GeorgeW. Reading this traffic, I naturally am thinking in terms of the arguments, how clever this one is, how moronic that one is, and so on. The truth is that we care very much whether other people like and approve of us. Of course, the domain in which reason is reliably truth-tracking need not be especially wide for the purposes of evolutionary explanation; in that respect it may well be quite right to say that reason is not designed for truth (I suspect that it isn’t and that this is one reason why certain areas of science and philosophy are so outrageously hard). Through most of the … The Righteous Mind Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion Jonathan Haidt > Pantheon (March 13, 2012), ISBN-13: 978-0307377906, 338 pages of text, 84 pages of notes, 30 pages of references, 12 pages index. I have the impression that the leading theory of the evolution of intelligence is that it evolved to facilitate success in social interaction. Re: The Righteous Mind Post by Tommy Palven » Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:45 pm Lausten wrote: ↑ Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:20 pm Finally got around to reading this book by Jonathan Haidt. THE DUAL PROCESS MODEL. It may even be a better recipe for producing more virtuous, self-controlled citizens, who end up creating the best consequences for the nation as a whole. If they were not intrinsically rational, then it would be mysterious why we want rational justifications from each other in the first place and just why it is that rational justifications satisfy us when they do. Master Contributing Member; Senior Members; 77 1,863 posts; Gender: Male; This is particularly easy to see in the case of Aristotelian syllogisms. I lean toward the latter. See for example TRM, 54. We are enabled to do so by the elephant, which can make judgments and decisions on its own much of the time and often does a pretty good job. That article gives a nice summary of Haidt’s thinking, by the way, for those who aren’t reading the book but would like to see an account from the horse’s mouth in relatively few words. A groundbreaking investigation into the origins of morality, which turns out to be the basis for religion and politics. moral matrices bind people together and blind them to the coherence or even existence of other matrices. Chapter Summaries & Analyses. If it doesn’t, how would we know? A full executive summary of 'The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion' by Jonathan Haidt. 94 and 98. Get this book free when you sign up for a 30-day Trial. Why can't our political leaders work together as threats loom and problems mount? It is summarized here. More Articles ← The Righteous Mind: Ch. The end here is not truth (the end of purely cognitive reasoning) nor is it making good decisions or weighing different values (the ends of practical reasoning broadly construed), but structure is analogous. See this symposium in Perspectives on Psychological Science, kicked off by this target article by Keith Stanovich and Jonathan St. B. T. Evans. But rather than arguing that we are innately altruistic, he makes a more subtle claim--that we are fundamentally groupish. However, Haidt’s answer to this is easy. Haidt mentions philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel’s amusing research program in which he empirically investigates the moral behavior of moral philosophers (often with collaborator Joshua Rust). They found that brain areas associated with emotional processing were significantly more active in the second condition (moral-personal) than in the other two (moral-impersonal and nonmoral). I think this characterization is too extreme, in two ways. (Matthew 7:3--5)   Enlightenment (or wisdom, if you prefer) requires us all to take the logs out of our own eyes and then escape from our ceaseless, petty, and divisive moralism. In other words, they have the power of logical reasoning but are also subject to rhetorical sleights of hand. This is what I was trying to describe in … (He also talks about a press secretary for a politician, but I think maybe the lawyer analogy—which is also his—is a little better.) He didn’t invent any of the theory. Is it an exaggeration, or is it the truth? They're mostly post hoc constructions made up on the fly, crafted to advance one or more strategic objectives. And to the agential reasoning, figuring-out, and willing powers of animals. As I said in my post, from an evolutionary point of view, rationalization is not a bug, it’s a feature. If you think that moral reasoning is something we do to figure out the truth, you'll be constantly frustrated by how foolish, biased, and illogical people become when they disagree with you. Haidt says that strength of emotion predicted moral judgment in this study, implying that people who had stronger emotional reactions to the moral-personal scenarios were more likely to disapprove the suggested action (TRM, 77). Award-winning psychologist Jonathan Haidt, the author of The Righteous Mind, shows how a deeper … In Haidt’s version, emotions are emphasized in the elephant, and the rider is treated as subordinate and even subservient to the elephant. Just like a lawyer in court. But if the evolutionary function of reason is to be a lawyer for the elephant, not a scientist in search of truth, then these phenomena are not failures! But if you think about moral reasoning as a skill we humans evolved to further our social agendas--to justify our own actions and to defend the teams we belong to--then things will make a lot more sense. You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye. In the comment I just mentioned, I emphasized the cultural evolution of moral judgment and behavior, rather than genetic evolution, because I have come to think it is the more important process. This file contains a version of chapter 5 from the book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion ... 4 This chapter and the next three are about those additional concerns and virtues. Secular Western moralities are like cuisines that try to activate just one or two of these receptors--either concerns about harm and suffering, or concerns about fairness and injustice. Therefore, rational persuasion cannot be the essential function of reason. Second, the elephant is in certain ways programmable by the rider. How many moral matrices surrounded you while you were growing up? Therefore, we cannot expect people as individuals to ever be very good reasoners. Just babies : the origins of good and evil / Paul Bloom. In chapters 3 & 4, Haidt elaborates his basic dual process model of the mind, which he represents metaphorically as a (rational, conscious, deliberative) rider on an (intuitive, unconscious, automatized) elephant. But — and here the puzzle begins — it is only in virtue of being rational that others are such as to demand justification from us and that we are such as to feel the need to offer it. Human nature was produced by natural selection working at two levels simultaneously. Such is the state of our politics today, but there is hope. (He’s also a good communicator.) In some cases we might be able to have less complex varieties of the same emotions even without reason — fear, say, and perhaps disgust — but in other cases that seems more than implausible — shame, pride, pity, resentment, and respect come to mind. The book is a mixed bag for me. And I'll use this perspective to explain why some people are conservative, others are liberal (or progressive), and still others become libertarians. I doubt anyone—except maybe psychopaths—is immune from this. Keep your eye on the intuitions, and don't take people's moral arguments at face value. 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