This Week on Free Will: Jonathan Haidt

This week on Free Will, I talk with moral psychology big shot Jonathan Haidt about … the psychology of morality! This was fun because I’m a huge Haidt fan. Here’s my unpublished essay written for Reason on why Democrats should pay more attention to Haidt and less to guys like Lakoff.

Interestingly, I think Jon and I have a pretty fundamental disagreement about the implications of his theory. I think it actually helps to vindicate the authority of secular liberal morality, and, together with social indicators data, gives us reason to push for a more thoroughgoingly liberal culture. Jon thinks it helps us see what’s valuable in conservative moralities, and that we need a sort of balanced moral ecosystem of different kinds of moralities. Sadly, this all came up at the end, and we didn’t get to dig in as much as I’d have liked. But this subject interests me so much I think I want to write a book about it.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center