Saturday, March 24, 2012

Why don't they listen to reason?

... Haidt argues that people are fundamentally intuitive, not rational. If you want to persuade others, you have to appeal to their sentiments. But Haidt is looking for more than victory. He’s looking for wisdom. That’s what makes “The Righteous Mind” well worth reading. Politics isn’t just about manipulating people who disagree with you. It’s about learning from them. 
Haidt seems to delight in mischief. Drawing on ethnography, evolutionary theory and experimental psychology, he sets out to trash the modern faith in reason. In Haidt’s retelling, all the fools, foils and villains of intellectual history are recast as heroes. David Hume, the Scottish philosopher who notoriously said reason was fit only to be “the slave of the passions,” was largely correct.
This is my favorite intersection: science, politics, philosophy, and theism. That said, reading this review I didn't encounter anything like a fresh take or new insight. Anyone who's spun around the TED videos on YouTube, I'm sure, has heard all this before.

I'm partial to Hume, even when I disagree, so I bristled a little at Saletan's implication that Hume is one of the "fools, foils and villains" of intellectual history.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...