The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion Paperback – Feb 12 2013
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Praise for Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind
“A landmark contribution to humanity’s understanding of itself. . . . Haidt is looking for more than victory. He’s looking for wisdom. That’s what makes The Righteous Mind well worth reading.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“An eye-opening and deceptively ambitious best seller . . . undoubtedly one of the most talked-about books of the year.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Splendidly written, sophisticated and stimulating. It may well change how you think and talk about politics, religion and human nature.”
“Ingenious prose. . . . Beautifully written, Haidt’s book shines a new and creative light on moral psychology and presents a provocative message.”
“A remarkable and original synthesis of social psychology, political analysis, and moral reasoning.”
—Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
“Highly readable, highly insightful. . . . The principal posture in which one envisions him is that of a scrappy, voluble, discerning patriot standing between the warring factions in American politics urging each to see the other’s viewpoint, to stop demonizing, bashing, clobbering. . . . Haidt’s real contribution, in my judgment, is inviting us all to sit at the table.”
“Excellent. . . . An impressive book that should be read by anyone who has the slightest interest in how political opinions are reached.”
—The Daily Beast
“Haidt’s work feels particularly relevant now. . . . Haidt’s perspective can help us better understand our own political and religious leanings.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Jonathan Haidt is one of smartest and most creative psychologists alive, and his newest book, The Righteous Mind is a tour de force—a brave, brilliant and eloquent exploration of the most important issues of our time. It will challenge the way you think about liberals and conservatives, atheism and religion, good and evil. This is the book that everyone is going to be talking about.”
—Paul Bloom, Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology, Yale University
“Haidt’s research has revolutionized the field of moral psychology. This elegantly written book has far-reaching implications for anyone interested in anthropology, politics, religion, or the many controversies that divide modern societies. If you want to know why you hold your moral beliefs and why many people disagree with you, read this book..”
—Simon Baron-Cohen, Cambridge University, Author of Zero Degrees of Empathy and The Science of Evil
“A much-needed voice of moral sanity.”
“[Haidt’s] framework for the different moral universes of liberals and conservatives struck me as a brilliant breakthrough . . . The Righteous Mind provides an invaluable road map.”
“A well-informed tour of contemporary moral psychology…A cogent rendering of a moral universe of fertile complexity and latent flexibility.”
“Haidt’s a good thing.”
“Jonathan Haidt’s absorbing The Righteous Mind should come with a warning label: ‘contents highly addictive.’ Written in a breezy and accessible style but informed by an impressively wide range of cutting-edge research in the social sciences, evolutionary biology and psychology, The Righteous Mind is about as interesting a book as you’ll pick up this year.”
—The Globe and Mail
“What makes [The Righteous Mind] so compelling is the fluid combination of erudition and entertainment, and the author’s obvious pleasure in challenging conventional wisdom. . . . [Haidt’s] core point is simple and well-made: our morality, much of it wired into brains from birth, at the same time binds us together and blinds us to different configurations of morality.”
—The Guardian (London)
“An important and timely book. . . . His ideas are controversial but they make you think.”
—Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company
“The Righteous Mind refutes the ‘New Atheists’ and shows that religion is a central part of our moral heritage. Haidt’s brilliant synthesis shows that Christians have nothing to fear and much to gain from the evolutionary paradigm.”
—Michael Dowd, author of Thank God for Evolution
“The Righteous Mind is an intellectual tour de force that brings Darwinian theorizing to the practical realm of everyday politics. The book is beautifully written, and it is truly unusual to encounter a book that makes a major theoretical contribution yet encourages one to turn its pages enthusiastically.”
—Christopher Boehm, Professor of Anthropology, University of Southern California, author of Moral Origins
“As a fellow who listens to heated political debate daily, I was fascinated, enlightened, and even amused by Haidt’s brilliant insights. This penetrating yet accessible book will help readers understand the righteous minds that inhabit politics.”
—Larry Sabato, University of Virginia, author of A More Perfect Constitution
“A profound discussion of the diverse psychological roots of morality and their role in producing political conflicts. It’s not too much to hope that the book will help to reduce those conflicts.”
—Richard E. Nisbett, University of Michigan, Author of The Geography of Thought
About the Author
Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He obtained his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, and then taught at the University of Virginia for 16 years. He is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, and the co-editor of Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well-Lived. He lives in New York City.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a phenomenal book - one of the best I've ever read. Really makes you think about what you think and why you think it, and better yet why others who might disagree with you think the way they do. Probably not right on all counts, but worth reading simply to reflect on whether you agree or disagree with it.
Haidt argues that morality does not and cannot flow out of reason and rationality. Instead, he suggests we decide whether something is moral immediately, and then use our reason to justify why we think what we do. Not a good sign for political cooperation.
Can liberals and conservatives understand each other? Haidt examines the priorities of each over his six bases for morality (care, fairness, loyalty, authority, sanctity, liberty). Liberals, he finds, place weight on care and liberty, with little or no interest in loyalty, authority, or sanctity. Conservatives placed weight on all the bases, with relatively more than liberals on loyalty, authority, and sanctity, and equal amounts on fairness. Incidentally, liberals are also usually more sensation-seeking and open to new experiences, while conservatives react more strongly to signs of danger. As a result, liberals find it hard to reach out to or even understand conservatives, because they place no value on the moral bases of conservatives.
Readers are taken through a diverse lattice of politics, religion, social psychology, morality, intuition, reasoning, rationalism, individualism, "groupism" , sociocentrism, transcendentalism, empiricism, nativism, deotology and empathy, to name just a few. Philosophical cameo appearances are made by John Stuart Mill, Emile Durkheim and David Hume.
The fundamental argument of the book is that emotion, rather than reason, governs human nature ; and that emotion is the foundation of morality. Haidt asserts we have six moral senses that includes sanctity, fairness, liberty, loyalty, authority, and caring. These emotional senses occupy and apply to situations in a ore powerful way than does reason or rationality.
Readers---and potnetial readers---who are not that interested in politics, philosophy,religion, psychology, morality, emotionalism, or reason will find this book heavy sledding. Such readers will not likely make it through the book.
Readers who are drawn to the synchronicity among the many topics will find this an interesting, absorbing, stimulating, and provocative read. As such, the book is a refreshing reference for psychologically and philosophically anchored academics, enlightened political science students, and management and leadership scholars and practitioners.
September 29, 2012.
*For a short summary/recapitulation of the book, "Click to LOOK INSIDE!" and find the four pages long conclusion.
*The main idea of the book is that "our minds were designed for groupish righteousness", and that's why there can be so much polarization in our societies.
*I now follow this talented psychologist on Twitter!!
Most recent customer reviews
Takes 60 pages for him to get to his point. Buy then you are sold on his concept of morality's origins.Published 3 months ago by RD Cain
Definitely one of my favourite books. I always thought of myself as open-minded, yet I can see that I have not always easily or readily accepted other points of view. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kevin Thomson
Not only is it a must read for Psychology and Political Science students, but for everyone! 5/5Published 8 months ago by Jaime
A very good discussion on what exactly constitutes moral values and how they are formed. The author is very knowledgeable and writes very well.Published on Feb. 20 2014 by Emmanuel
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