October 22, 2013 - 7 PM – Charles W Loosemore Auditorium
401 W. Fulton St Grand Rapids, Mi.
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
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.
The Hauenstein Center is proud to partner with the GVSU’s Business Ethics Center for this event.
Jonathan Haidt joined New York University Stern School of Business in July 2011. He is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, based in the Business and Society Program Area.
Professor Haidt is a social psychologist whose research examines the intuitive foundations of morality. His most recent book is the New York Times bestseller The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. In that book Haidt offers an account of the origins of the human moral sense, and he shows how variations in moral intuitions can help explain the American culture war between left and right. At Stern he is applying his research on moral psychology to rethink the way business ethics is studied and is integrated into the curriculum. His goal is to draw on the best behavioral science research to create organizations that function as ethical systems, with only minimal need for directly training people to behave ethically – “something nobody has yet found a way to do.
Before coming to Stern, Professor Haidt taught for 16 years at the University of Virginia, where he was given three awards for outstanding teaching, including the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award, conferred by Governor Mark Warner. His first book was The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom. His writings appear frequently in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Professor Haidt received a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.