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The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion Copertina flessibile – 12 febbraio 2013
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Drawing on his twenty-five years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology, Jonathan Haidt shows how moral judgments arise not from reason but from gut feelings. He shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and he shows why each side is actually right about many of its central concerns.
In this subtle yet accessible book, Haidt gives you the key to understanding the miracle of human cooperation, as well as the curse of our eternal divisions and conflicts. If you’re ready to trade in anger for understanding, read 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
“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
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.
- Editore : Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; Reprint edizione (12 febbraio 2013)
- Lingua : Inglese
- Copertina flessibile : 528 pagine
- ISBN-10 : 0307455777
- ISBN-13 : 978-0307455772
- Peso articolo : 485 g
- Dimensioni : 13.18 x 3.02 x 20.32 cm
- Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: n. 4,262 in Ideologie politiche (Libri)
- Recensioni dei clienti:
Recensioni migliori da Italia
Al momento, si è verificato un problema durante il filtraggio delle recensioni. Riprova più tardi.
A lot of myths will be broken by the end of the book, in particular the myth of rationality over instinct.
I found a ton of interesting and idea springing content in a book academically well written and referenced but also very easy to read, even by non native English speakers, like me.
I think this book will be cited over and over in the future and will change our awareness of ethics and political debate in useful ways.
You can find more on the book and the author on [...]
Tutto il libro è di facile lettura ed avvincente anche quando non si è d'accordo con le conclusioni che trae l'autore.
Le recensioni migliori da altri paesi
Haidt: The Righteous Mind
This was one of our best recent book club choices. It was well written, clear and thought provoking. The main point of the book to me was to demonstrate that morality has a social purpose, as the foundation on which social capital is constructed. What matters is that people share the same moral values, not whether those values are “right or wrong”. It has changed my thinking, and I have bought copies for friends of mine to see if it can also change theirs.
The book is divided into sections:
• Section 1: Intuitions come first, strategic reasoning second
The central metaphor is that the mind is like a rider on an elephant, whose job is to serve the elephant without much control of where the elephant is going. Traditionally Western philosophy separated the body and the mind, with the mind being the “ghost in the machine”, but according to Haidt the two are intimately connected. In fact morality is rooted in emotion and not in reason. We act first (the elephant moves), and justify our actions later (the rider).
• Section 2: There’s more to morality than harm and fairness
The central metaphor is like a tongue with six taste receptors. Morality has evolved to bind social groups together. Haidt identifies 6 different moral foundations, each of which has a role to play in addressing specific human behaviours:
Care/Harm: evolved for the protection and care of vulnerable offspring
Fairness/Cheating: evolved to encourage sharing and punish cheating
Loyalty/Betrayal: evolved to bind people together in social groups and to punish defectors
Authority/Subversion: evolved to bind people within a hierarchical social structure within the group
Sanctity/Degradation: evolved to protect health by avoiding unsafe foods and encouraging hygienic practises
Liberty/Oppression: evolved to balance the personal freedom and group loyalty
• Section 3: Morality binds and blinds
The central metaphor we are 90 percent bee and 10 percent chimp. We naturally tend to aggregate into large social groups bound by shared morals. In this context religion should not be seen as a parasitic meme, but as a social tool that binds people together into a cohesive and effective unit. Further, our political inclinations are a function of our individual sensitivities to each of the 6 moral foundations. Socialists are primarily driven by Care/Harm considerations for “social justice” and equality of outcomes. Conservatives are more concerned with maintaining social capital in an imperfect world where people cheat and exploit the system. Neither has a monopoly on righteousness, and each has their place in maintaining a balanced society.
I thought that this was an excellent book, grounded in science, which succeeds in its main argument that morality is an evolutionary adaptation whose purpose is to behind social groups together. I also very much enjoyed the description of how the field of moral psychology has developed over time. I have only a few points to discuss:
1. Religion as a meme
Haidt argues that the new Atheists are wrong in characterising Religion as a pernicious meme, and that instead it has a social purpose in binding people together into a cohesive whole. I think he overstates his case, and that his argument is not incompatible with that of the new atheists (Dawkins, Hitchens etc). Although the set of religions as a whole may well have a social purpose (religion has spontaneously evolved too often for it not to have some use), each individual religion can also be regarded as a meme that exploits humanity’s social needs to propagate itself. Thus when Haidt states that religions change over time to fit the needs of a changing society, the New Atheists would argue that the meme mutates and evolves with its host to ensure its continued propagation. It is merely a question of perspective.
2. Moral foundations of political views
Although, the conclusion of Haidt’s discussion of the moral foundations for Conservative and Liberal viewpoints is a refreshing call for tolerance, I thought that this was the weakest part of the book. His claim that political beliefs can be traced back to differing sensitivities to the 6 moral foundations mentioned above was justified by social surveys in which people were asked their political orientation and then asked to answer moral questionnaires. Conservatives and Liberals were then found to have different reactions to questions that targeted particular moral foundations. Correlation is not necessarily causation I thought that some of the graphs showed relatively weak relationships. In order for Haidt to be right the questions must be formulated so that the subject interprets them in the way intended, and that each question must target the intended moral foundation correctly. There is significant room for error and ambiguity there. His results seemed strong enough to draw general but not specific conclusions from.
3. I have an old friend whose politics are different from mine (he is a lifelong Socialist), so I bought him a copy of the book in the hope that it would provide some perspective and allow us to better understand each other’s viewpoints. As I handed it over he took one look and said “Not bloody Haidt, I hated that book.” We continue to avoid discussing politics. I am pessimistic that Haidt’s call for political toleration will be heeded.
I thought that this was a terrific book, and one of the best we have read in a while.
Multiculturalism hardly means people living together as a community, it means having community within a larger community. Take the example of London, you have people from Eastern Europe on one side, the Polish only stays with the Polish, the Slovakian with the Slovakian and so on and so forth. Then, you have Black Jamaican who make up another unit. You have Black African (Anglophone and Francophone) - Nigerian, Ghanaian, Ugandan, Ivorian, Congolese...etc. Obviously nobody actually mix together. Nigerian stays with Nigerian, Ivorian with Ivorian and so on and so forth. Then you have Indians and Pakistani who stays with people who come from the same country as them. Even Italian in London usually stays with Italians. In fact not long ago, an Italian told me that there was a big association for Italian in London and that he was a member. There are many other group that I skipped because I couldn't be bothered but you understand what I mean. And then you have the English - some accept this diversity (usually easier in good economic time), others merely tolerate it.
All group have a natural tendency toward self-segregation. But on top of that, these days we have an external pressure from the Left. The Left does everything it can to remind people how different they are from another, besides picking nonsense battle which erode social trust and our already tenuous social cohesion (i.e tearing statues, protests on university...etc).
The left in its haste to remake fail to understand that a) the world as it is though not perfect is way better than it use to be and b)that if they continue it will only lead us to a civil war. There is still poverty but anyone who'd read history would know that it's nothing as it used to be (read for example Way to Wigan Road), racism though still a major issue is better now than it ever was. I should also point out something people always talk about how Trump brought a fascist state, about how much of a Nazi he is and so on and so forth. Do they not realise that if they were living in a true Nazi state they could not insult him, or his supporter the way they do on TV or even anonymously on social media? Trump is bad, but no he's isn't creating a new Nazi Germany or URSS. And really saying such things is terribly insensitive to the people who lived through those time.
By the way, I do not mean to say that injustice should not be tackled, but it has to be done in a pragmatic and useful way. Concretely, though I understand why he did this, what has Kaeparnick protesting the American flag accomplished besides increasing polarisation? Similarly, for the last couple of years I have heard using terms such as white privilege, white supremacists, old white men, patriarchy and other similar words in almost in every sense and often when they aren't warranted. But what has it accomplished? It has created a backlash from conservative and annoyed liberals. You also have white liberals who have accepted those terms. But I believe for some, it is only a cool trend they have stumbled into, for other it is a form of religion which I'm not entirely sure they fully believe into, and the last group simply feel obliged.
To be clear, I do believe that in an unfair world, black people are more likely to suffer from unfairness than white people. There are various reasons for this bias and prejudice, the fact that black people are a numeral minority (10% of black in US, only 2% in UK and probably also about 2% in France) whereas white are the majority, lack of economic power of black people in the country they live, lack of economic country of African countries and cultural difference. So, in a sense I believe that white privilege exists, but I think that the way we go about talking about it is simply too divisive and does not promote understanding or even compassion.
I am very well aware of all the wrong white led country have done in history. Though if we're being very fair about it, Arab countries (slavery) and Asian countries (mostly Japon have done the same [severe colonisation of neighbours]) have done similar misdeed. But really, we can't expect someone to understand our point of view when we scream have him that the colour of his skin make him a bad person, even if he personally hasn't done anything. Or when we say that all white people are basically evil. I understand where people are coming from when they say that. Exchanging with someone who has entrenched beliefs about you & your people, who simply cannot imagine that his experience is not the experience of everybody else or someone who is wilfully ignorant/ selectively chose morsel of history (many Conservative) can be very trying. Nonetheless, if our objective is to make a positive change then we need to change how we communicate.
Going back to the book, though Haidt says that Conservative have six moral foundation rather than the Liberal's three, he does point out the flaws within the Conservative movement. Besides, Haidt never said that having the six moral foundation mean that you can't be biases or that your reasoning is perfect. In fact, you could argue that he said the contrary. One more thing, someone pointed out that if Conservative score high in Loyalty how come they distrust the government. Well, this reading is wrong. Conservative do trust government to provide a good environment/ market, they trust the government's words, including its lies. Essentially, they gov to rule the environment but not the individual. You should remember that they also score high in Liberty. Hence, it isn't surprising that they do not want an external force to rule them.
I suppose some people aren't happy just because he didn't call them racist idiots. By the way, even after reading this book, I still have trouble reconciling my initial views with the picture Haidt presented. What I'm trying to say is that though Haidt's book gave me a lot of insight, I still have much to digest.
I would recommend this book to anyone who want to understand politics and their neighbours with different political opinion.
There's only one thing which the book is missing for me. It is a niggle and really, Haidt already did enough and couldn't have looked at this. But I wonder how morality work/ develop across race. For example, a lot of black people are liberal/ democrats because this side have generally been against injustice and willing to do something for the lower section of society. But, could it be that some despite their skin colour are actually closer in their moral spectrum to the white conservative they despise (and who in turn may despise them)? More bluntly said, if instead of being black, they had been born white, could their political leaning be completely different because being white and conservative doesn't come with the same baggage has being black and conservative? Really, if they white conservative could leave out his bias, could the black who have the same moral makeup as him get along better with him than with fellow black who do not have the same moral buds?
Really, I can't help wondering how much who you are outside influence your political leaning despite who you are inside. If I had the opportunity I would have done a Phd on this. But ah...I'm way too busy. Has anyone ever thought about this?
In any case, as I said, highly recommended!