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 …

Read More
A Liberal Theory of Human Nature

Human Nature – Part I: The Conservative Narrative

Filed under: Human Nature, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection

First of a series: click second Political beliefs both start and end with attitudes toward human nature. The right has long been associated with the Hobbesian view that the natural state of mankind is “warre of every man against every man—Bellum omnium contra omnes” (Leviathan, 1651). Material progress is made possible by business competition permitted …

Read More
Ape Mind, Old Mind, New Mind

Final Book Version on Amazon

Filed under: Author narrative, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Sexual Selection, The Deep Evolution of Emotion

Since my retirement 10 years ago, Ape Mind, Old Mind, New Mind has been a work in progress. The basic ideas arose from my knowledge of the internal experience of the major mental illnesses directly imparted to me by thousands of my patients in 35 years of practicing psychiatry. The “data” of these composite descriptions …

Read More
A Liberal Theory of Human Nature

The Evolutionary Biology of Left and Right

Filed under: Human Nature, Dominance and Submission, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, The Ascension of the Human Spirit | 1 Comment

The Blog has stated before that the philosophical difference between the political left and right have their roots in their different views of human nature. This very moment of transition offers the philosopher of human nature a rare opportunity to have the distinctions on display. Thomas Hobbes expressed attitudes human nature popular on the political …

Read More
Conservatives and Darwin

Conservatives & Darwin

Filed under: Human Nature, Belief, Justice | 1 Comment

If you are a progressive, perhaps you identify yourself as a Darwinist in relation to the religious right who deny evolution, but you are probably unaware that you are embracing a dark view of human nature—and one that is at the foundation of modern conservatism. In Darwin’s Autobiography (1887), he reports, In October 1838, that …

Read More