The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion - Chapter Seven: The Moral Foundations of Politics Summary & Analysis

Jonathan Haidt
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Chapter Seven: The Moral Foundations of Politics Summary and Analysis

Many social scientists have maintained a long-held belief that man acts based almost exclusively on self-interest which can be interpreted as a moral foundation. For many decades scientists were reluctant to use the term "innate" when referring to human behavior unless there was proof positive that the trait was hardwired. However, in more modern times, scientists have softened their view and agree that some traits are pre-wired to be flexible and open to change. A newborn is like the first draft of a book - subject to enhancement and revision.

Relative to the care/harm receptor of the righteous mind, there is proof that this trait is inborn. There is an innate mothering instinct in animals and in humans. New mothers who have had no prior experience with young...

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This section contains 579 words
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The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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