In “Moral Grandstanding,” Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke defend the following account of moral grandstanding (MG):
(1) to MG is to participate in moral discourse out of the desire to be regarded by others as moral (with the desire for moral recognition or recognition desire (RD) being strong enough that, if one were not to be recognized as moral, one would be disappointed; and one acts from this desire via the proper conventionally-determined sort of “grandstanding expression”). Continue reading →
In chs. 9 and 10, Haidt begins his defense of his third principle of empirical moral psychology:
(III) Morality binds and blinds.
The other two (with my interpolations), already defended in the book, are:
(I) Intuitions come first [in moral thinking] strategic reasoning [to moral conclusions] second
(II) There’s more to morality [moral thinking] than harm and fairness.
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CH5 (“BEYOND ‘WEIRD’ MORALITY”) SELECTIVE SUMMARY – commentary in bold
5.1 WEIRD people (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic people) are statistical outliers in the group of humans – and therefore bad samples for generalizing about the group of humans. They are perhaps most obviously outliers in that, at least in cases not involving other-harming or unfair action, they resist inferring from feelings of disgust upon considering a social situation to that situation being morally bad or involving someone doing something morally wrong. For example, they are much less inclined to say that someone having sex with a chicken carcass and then eating it is (universally, morally) wrong. Similarly for other “harmless taboo” cases. Therefore, good empirical moral psychology should not sample only WEIRDos (e.g., university students in the United States – hard to get much WEIRDer). Continue reading →
David Potts and I are reading, summarizing and commenting our way through Jonathan Haidt’s THE RIGHTEOUS MIND: WHY GOOD PEOPLE ARE DIVIDED BY POLITICS AND RELIGION. Non-readers are invited to follow along and comment – or better read along as well. This is an important and good book. All the cool kids have already read it. Here is the format: six weeks, summary/commentary on two chapters each week, David and I alternating. I’m starting off. What follows is longer and less simple and clear than I would like, but in the interests of getting things rolling, here we go.
CH1 (“WHERE DOES MORALITY COME FROM?”)
CH1 – SELECTIVE SUMMARY
Haidt presents and marshals evidence against (what was until recently) the predominant “rationalist” view of moral psychology (the study of what moral thinking is like and how it
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