The Righteous Mind

Peter Blood at Blood Flows write really interesting book reviews. His latest is a review of The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt. here’s an excerpt:

‘The now-famous Dunning-Kruger Effect was first documented in a paper by Justin Kruger and David Dunning, of Cornell University, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 1999, entitled, “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments.” The main point was that people who are unskilled tend to lack the ability to assess their own abilities. They then overestimate their competence.

Haidt could have subtitled his book “Morally Stunted and Unaware of It: How Deficiencies in Moral Development Lead to Liberal Rage.” But that wouldn’t reel in liberals; the real title should. And make no mistake: this book is written to liberals, an earnest plea for liberals to broaden their moral horizon.

Haidt himself is a liberal, and an atheist New York Jew academic to boot. With all that against him, his book also is the personal journey of his broadening moral horizon. His own moral sense and its growth is woven into the story of his research.

The book is three main sections:

  1. Intuitions Come First, Strategic Reasoning Second.
  2. There’s More to Morality than Harm and Fairness.
  3. Morality Binds and Blinds.

The whole thing is good. Read it.

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