You are intelligent, liberal and well informed. He can’t understand why working-class Americans vote for Republicans. He thinks they have been duped, but he is wrong. This accusation did not see Ne from the right. It is a warning from Jonathan Haidt (New York, 1963), a social psychologist at the University of Virginia who, until 2009, considered himself a fervent liberal. In The Mind of the Righteous, Haidt intends to enrich liberalism with a deeper knowledge of human nature. For starters, he argues that people are fundamentally intuitive, not rational. If you want to persuade others, you have to appeal to their feelings. But Haidt looks for something else. Search for wisdom.
Haidt explains, “why citizens of modern societies live divided by different moral visions of reality that ultimately translate into seemingly insurmountable political tribes.” He analyzes why and how we think, as well as the reasons that lead us to believe, support, or defend certain causes.
Haidt defines moral intuition as a sudden appearance in the consciousness of a moral judgment along with an affective valence of approval or disapproval of the object that causes it. Following the theses defended by other neuroscientists and previous psychologists, Haidt understands that our mind is continually projecting an affective valence of approval or rejection (good-bad) towards everything that happens before us and that raises our attention, depending on the risk or benefit to us. This ability is integrated into the same act of perception so that we do not need to reflect to recognize that an action or person is moral or immoral. Still, we perceive it as something good or bad automatically and act accordingly. Form there that the intuition is produced in a fleeting, unconscious, involuntary, and effortless way, through a hunch that causes in our consciousness the formation of moral judgment. Thus the moral judgment will only be the conscious expression of that valuation of approval or rejection that reaches our consciousness through the process of intuition.
One aspect that we must take into account from the first moment is the cognitive nature of intuitions. Haidt, with his concept of intuition, claims precisely that cognitive dimension of emotions. Thus he affirms that both intuition and reasoning, far from reproducing the rationalist opposition between passion and reason, are two different forms of cognition. Emotions capture information about reality that is transmitted and is reflected in our brain, for example, which Haidt himself takes as one of the pillars of his proposal. This cognitive dimension of emotion is a point not sufficiently stressed by Haidt in his first works on social intuitionism.
Haidt, Jonathan. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. New York: Random House, 2012.
J. Haidt. «The emotional dog and its rational tail. A social Intuitionist approach to moral judgment,» Psychological Review, vol. 108, 2001, p. 815.
J. Haidt, F. Bjorklund y S. Murphy. «Moral dumfounding: when intuition finds no reason.» Text, p. 2.
J. Haidt. «The emotional dog and its rational tail,» p. 818.
Wilhelm Wunt, Robert Zajonc, Howard Margolis o Daniel Kahneman.
J. Haidt y F. Bjorklund. «Social Intuitionists answer six questions about moral psychology,» en: W. Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.) Moral Psychology, vol. 2, Massachusetts, The MIT Press, 2007, p. 186.
https://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/the-righteous-mind-by-jonathan-haidt.html accessed February 25-2020.