A Liberal Theory of Human Nature

Haidt on Us-vs-Them

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Human Nature, Justice | 2 Comments

Below is a TED talk by Jonathan Haidt, the social psychologist who wrote The Righteous Mind, in which he introduced six belief categories: important issues to Democrats are care/harm, liberty/oppression, and fairness/cheating, whereas for Republicans the most important issues are loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, and sanctity/ degradation. In this video he tells us that openness to new …

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A Liberal Awakening - Part III

Human Nature – Part III: The Evolution of the Invisible Hand

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Justice, Mental illness

Third in series: click for first or second (two more coming) I entered the field of psychiatry forty-seven years ago imbued by Jung’s theory of a collective unconscious. Jung felt that Freud’s concept of his superego was an attempt to make the collective unconscious personal instead of “universal and deeply historical.” As I began to think …

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Briefly noted: “The Righteous Mind” (2012): ARE REPUBLICANS MORE MORAL THAN DEMOCRATS?

Filed under: Belief, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection

Anyone who has been aware of the extraordinary media blitz by Jonathan Haidt about this book should read John T. Jost’s review in the Aug 3rd Science. Briefly stated, Haidt claims that all our moral views are rationalizations of emotional responses to six innate moral issues that he compares to tastes: care/harm, liberty/oppression, and fairness/cheating …

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Schizophrenia and Normal Communication from Our Groups (eg: cable news)

Filed under: Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection

First and foremost, as stated above, the diagnosis of Schizophrenia is made when the patient reports that their thoughts are perceived as deriving from an external source.  As well as the emotional turmoil created by this strangest of experiences, I came to the conclusion that the other dramatic symptom associated with Schizophrenia, hearing voices, was …

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Two New Books and One About to Hit the Market

Filed under: God, Group Selection | 2 Comments

This morning I read David Brooks’ review of a book by Alain de Botton entitled Religion for Atheists in which “He finds it impossible to take faith in God seriously. He assumes that none of his educated readers could possibly believe in spooky ghosts in the sky.”  Brooks goes on to say that, “Instead, he …

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