Monday, May 14, 2012

The Science of Liberal and Conservative (via Mooney and Wright)

by Don Wharton
I just watched an excellent video of a conversation between Robert Wright and Chris Mooney on the science describing liberalism and conservatism. I have been impressed with the science defining the two different neural mechanisms (deontic and utilitarian) that articulate what we call our moral instincts. I view the deontic (rule based) mechanism as one which echoes the perceived rules of a tribe. These rules to a large extent define membership in the tribe and loyalty to it. The conversation between Mr Wright and Mr. Mooney only tangentially touch on the neural mechanisms or the tribal identity that I see as central to the left right divide. However, they do engage in an immensely informed effort to understand and communicate the scientific effort that is so important to understanding how and why so much of humanity believes in nutty nonsense. Enjoy:

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