The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt

Sometimes I read a book and think it’s something everyone should read. It happens rarely, because different people like different things, etc. But it does happen. And A Righteous Mind is one of those books.

I think it’s especially important for people who, like me, consider themselves politically liberal and find themselves stunned by conservative reasoning. How is it possible that they just don’t care, you think, shaking your head in despair at yet another tweet coming from the wrong side of the gun control argument, or the abortion argument, or something else that plucks at your ethical guitar and makes an out-of-tune twang.

The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt
The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt

But it’s important to understand where people are coming from if we’re ever going to change things for the better – something that’s becoming increasingly important in the current political climate.

Whether you’re conservative or liberal or something else entirely, reading this book will give you an idea of how the other side thinks, and why they think that way, from a rational viewpoint rather than an overly emotive one.

I can’t really say much more about the book without giving it all away, which won’t work in a blog-post-length article because of your elephant. But you’ll have to read the book to find out about your elephant.

Some choice quotes:

“People who devote their lives to studying something often come to believe that the object of their fascination is the key to understanding everything.”

“These subjects were reasoning. They were working quite hard at reasoning. But it was not reasoning in search of truth; it was reasoning in support of their emotional reactions.”


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