A Nation Divided
The nation’s political discourse has become increasingly polarized—that is one thing upon which voters leaning both left and right (and those in the middle) can agree. This colloquy will seek to help us understand better what’s driving the “other side:” Is it ignorance? Malice? Or something else?
The colloquy will be focused on the book “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion” by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt. In this book, Haidt relates a series of psychological experiments whose results may challenge our assumptions about how people think and feel, provides a hypothesis about the differences between right-leaning and left-leaning people and relates it to the current political and cultural environment.
The reading will be supplemented with reviews of Haidt’s work, TED-type videos of Haidt and others on the subject.
The colloquy will be facilitated by Sarah Everdell and Scott Miller—who disagree on a wide variety of policy prescriptions, but agree that Haidt’s book is an extremely worthwhile read.
Syllabus (subject to refinement and change)
“The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion” by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt.
Review of some of the research described in The Righteous Mind and discussion of:
Discussion of Haidt’s hypothesis about the differences between “conservatives” and “liberals”
Criticism of Haidt’s work and alternate hypotheses
Where to from here?
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