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Book Review

Book Review In The Righteous Mind, psychologist Jonathan Haidt argues for empirically grounded accounts of the psychological nature of moral judgement, which he calls the ‘social intuition model’ and the ‘moral foundations theory’, and considers some of their implications, including especially their implications for political psychology. While he is not always careful or generous in his claims about philosophers (more about that later), any philosopher working in normative ethical theory, metaethics or (especially) moral psychology should be familiar with his research. Political theorists will also find several points of interest in Haidt's discussion.The book is divided into three parts, each of which opens with a guiding metaphor. The metaphor of part I, which is titled ‘Intuitions Come First, Strategic Reasoning Second’, will be familiar to readers of Haidt's earlier The Happiness Hypothesis: ‘The mind is divided, like a rider on an elephant, and the rider's job is to serve the elephant.’ Haidt's elephant is our automatic mental processes, while the rider represents reason. More specifically, in this context, the elephant represents our moral intuitions. Moral intuitions, according to Haidt, combine affective and cognitive elements. They include our moral emotions, although not all intuitions rise to the level of emotions. When we http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Utilitas Cambridge University Press

Book Review

Utilitas , Volume 26 (1): 4 – Jan 14, 2014

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Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 
ISSN
1741-6183
eISSN
0953-8208
DOI
10.1017/S0953820813000253
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In The Righteous Mind, psychologist Jonathan Haidt argues for empirically grounded accounts of the psychological nature of moral judgement, which he calls the ‘social intuition model’ and the ‘moral foundations theory’, and considers some of their implications, including especially their implications for political psychology. While he is not always careful or generous in his claims about philosophers (more about that later), any philosopher working in normative ethical theory, metaethics or (especially) moral psychology should be familiar with his research. Political theorists will also find several points of interest in Haidt's discussion.The book is divided into three parts, each of which opens with a guiding metaphor. The metaphor of part I, which is titled ‘Intuitions Come First, Strategic Reasoning Second’, will be familiar to readers of Haidt's earlier The Happiness Hypothesis: ‘The mind is divided, like a rider on an elephant, and the rider's job is to serve the elephant.’ Haidt's elephant is our automatic mental processes, while the rider represents reason. More specifically, in this context, the elephant represents our moral intuitions. Moral intuitions, according to Haidt, combine affective and cognitive elements. They include our moral emotions, although not all intuitions rise to the level of emotions. When we

Journal

UtilitasCambridge University Press

Published: Jan 14, 2014

There are no references for this article.