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Leo Strauss and Anglo-American Democracy: A Conservative Critique
Grant Havers
In this original new study, Grant Havers critically interprets Leo… Read more
The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom of Tradition in an Age of Chaos
Sohrab Ahmari
We’ve pursued and achieved the modern dream of defining ourselves—but… Read more
Separation of Church and State
Philip Hamburger
In a powerful challenge to conventional wisdom, Philip Hamburger argues… Read more
When Harry Became Sally
Ryan Anderson
Can a boy be “trapped” in a girl’s body? Can… Read more
Hebraism in Religion, History, and Politics: The Third Culture
Steven Grosby
Hebraism in Religion, History, and Politics is an investigation into Hebraism… Read more

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The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012)

Jonathan Haidt

Why can’t our political leaders work together as threats loom and problems mount? Why do people so readily assume the worst about the motives of their fellow citizens? In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding.

His starting point is moral intuition—the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt shows us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right. He blends his own research findings with those of anthropologists, historians, and other psychologists to draw a map of the moral domain, and he explains why conservatives can navigate that map more skillfully than can liberals. He then examines the origins of morality, overturning the view that evolution made us fundamentally selfish creatures. But rather than arguing that we are innately altruistic, he makes a more subtle claim—that we are fundamentally groupish. It is our groupishness, he explains, that leads to our greatest joys, our religious divisions, and our political affiliations. In a stunning final chapter on ideology and civility, Haidt shows what each side is right about, and why we need the insights of liberals, conservatives, and libertarians to flourish as a nation.

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