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The Righteous Mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion
  • Published: 23 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9781846145711
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 448
Categories:

The Righteous Mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion



A big, controversial new idea - that we're hardwired to have certain political and religious views

Why can it sometimes feel as though half the population is living in a different moral universe from you? Why do ideas such as 'fairness' and 'freedom' mean such different things to different people? Why is it so easy to see the flaws in others' arguments, and less in our own?

Jonathan Haidt, one of the world's most influential psychologists, reveals that the reason we find it so hard to get along is because our minds are designed to be moral. Not only that, we are hardwired to be moralistic, judgemental and self-righteous too. Our intrinsic morality enabled us to form communities and create civilization, and it is the key to understanding everybody. It explains why some of us are liberal, others conservative. It is often the difference between war and peace. It is also why we are the only species that will kill for an ideal. Drawing on moral psychology, ancient philosophy, modern politics, poetry, advertising and the semantics of bumper stickers, Haidt's incredibly wise and enjoyable book examines how morality evolves; why we are predisposed to believe certain things; how our surroundings can affect our morality; and how moral values are not just about justice and fairness - for some people authority, sanctity or loyalty are more important.

Morality binds and blinds, but with new evidence from his own empirical research, Haidt proves it is possible to liberate us from the disputes that divide good people and cooperate with those whose morals differ from our own. After all, they might just have something to say.

  • Published: 23 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9781846145711
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 448
Categories:

About the author

Jonathan Haidt

Jonathan Haidt teaches psychology at the University of Virginia. This is his first book for the general reader.

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Praise for The Righteous Mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion

A landmark contribution to humanity's understanding of itself

The New York Times

A truly seminal book

David Goodhart, Prospect

A tour de force - brave, brilliant, and eloquent. It will challenge the way you think about liberals and conservatives, atheism and religion, good and evil

Paul Bloom, author of How Pleasure Works

Compelling . . . a fluid combination of erudition and entertainment

Ian Birrell, Observer

Lucid and thought-provoking . . . deserves to be widely read

Jenni Russell, Sunday Times

If you want to know why you hold your moral beliefs and why many people disagree with you, read this book

Simon Baron-Cohen, author of The Essential Difference

For the reader who seeks to understand happiness, my advice is: Begin with Haidt

Martin E P Seligman, professor of psychology, University of Pennsylvania

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