The bestseller that challenges conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to conservatives and liberals alike—a “landmark contribution to humanity’s understanding of itself” (The New York Times Book Review). Drawing on his twenty-five years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt shows how moral judgments arise not from reason but from gut feelings. He shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and he shows why each side is actually right about many of its central concerns. In this subtle yet accessible book, Haidt gives you the key to understanding the miracle of human cooperation, as well as the curse of our eternal divisions and conflicts. If you’re ready to trade in anger for understanding, read The Righteous Mind.

Author ,
Isbn 0307907031
Genre Psychology
Year 2012-03-13
Pages 384
Language English
File format PDF

“Surprising and remarkable…Toggling between big ideas, technical details, and his personal intellectual journey, Greene writes a thesis suitable to both airplane reading and PhD seminars.”—The Boston Globe Our brains were designed for tribal life, for getting along with a select group of others (Us) and for fighting off everyone else (Them). But modern times have forced the world’s tribes into a shared space, resulting in epic clashes of values along with unprecedented opportunities. As the world shrinks, the moral lines that divide us become more salient and more puzzling. We fight over everything from tax codes to gay marriage to global warming, and we wonder where, if at all, we can find our common ground. A grand synthesis of neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy, Moral Tribes reveals the underlying causes of modern conflict and lights the way forward. Greene compares the human brain to a dual-mode camera, with point-and-shoot automatic settings (“portrait,” “landscape”) as well as a manual mode. Our point-and-shoot settings are our emotions—efficient, automated programs honed by evolution, culture, and personal experience. The brain’s manual mode is its capacity for deliberate reasoning, which makes our thinking flexible. Point-and-shoot emotions make us social animals, turning Me into Us. But they also make us tribal animals, turning Us against Them. Our tribal emotions make us fight—sometimes with bombs, sometimes with words—often with life-and-death stakes. A major achievement from a rising star in a new scientific field, Moral Tribes will refashion your deepest beliefs about how moral thinking works and how it can work better.

Author Joshua Greene
Isbn 1101638672
Genre Science
Year 2013-10-31
Pages 432
Language English
File format PDF

The bestselling author of The Righteous Mind and The Coddling of the American Mind draws on philosophical wisdom and scientific research to show how the meaningful life is closer than you think The Happiness Hypothesis is a book about ten Great Ideas. Each chapter is an attempt to savor one idea that has been discovered by several of the world's civilizations -- to question it in light of what we now know from scientific research, and to extract from it the lessons that still apply to our modern lives and illuminate the causes of human flourishing. Award-winning psychologist Jonathan Haidt, the author of The Righteous Mind and The Coddling of the American Mind, shows how a deeper understanding of the world's philosophical wisdom and its enduring maxims -- like "do unto others as you would have others do unto you," or "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" -- can enrich and even transform our lives.

Author Jonathan Haidt
Isbn 0465003680
Genre Psychology
Year 2006-12-26
Pages 320
Language English
File format PDF

Something is going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and afraid to speak honestly. How did this happen? First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. These three Great Untruths are incompatible with basic psychological principles, as well as ancient wisdom from many cultures. They interfere with healthy development. Anyone who embraces these untruths—and the resulting culture of safetyism—is less likely to become an autonomous adult able to navigate the bumpy road of life. Lukianoff and Haidt investigate the many social trends that have intersected to produce these untruths. They situate the conflicts on campus in the context of America’s rapidly rising political polarization, including a rise in hate crimes and off-campus provocation. They explore changes in childhood including the rise of fearful parenting, the decline of unsupervised play, and the new world of social media that has engulfed teenagers in the last decade. This is a book for anyone who is confused by what is happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines.

Author Greg Lukianoff,Jonathan Haidt
Isbn 0735224900
Genre Social Science
Year 2018-09-04
Pages 352
Language English
File format PDF

“Engaging, evocative. . . . [Bloom] is a supple, clear writer, and his parade of counterintuitive claims about pleasure is beguiling.”—NPR Why is an artistic masterpiece worth millions more than a convincing forgery? Pleasure works in mysterious ways, as Paul Bloom reveals in this investigation of what we desire and why. Drawing on a wealth of surprising studies, Bloom investigates pleasures noble and seamy, lofty and mundane, to reveal that our enjoyment of a given thing is determined not by what we can see and touch but by our beliefs about that thing’s history, origin, and deeper nature.

Author Paul Bloom
Isbn 9780393077117
Genre Psychology
Year 2010-06-14
Pages 304
Language English
File format PDF

Thomas Sowell's classic analysis of the opposing visions behind today's ethical and ideological disputes Controversies in politics arise from many sources, but the conflicts that endure for generations or centuries show a remarkably consistent pattern. This revised edition of a classic analyzes the centuries-long debates about the nature of reason, justice, equality, and power. It distinguishes between those with the "constrained" vision, which sees human nature as enduring and self-centered, and the "unconstrained" vision, in which human nature is malleable and perfectible. A Conflict of Visions offers a compelling case that these opposing visions are behind the ethical and ideological disputes of yesterday and today.

Author Thomas Sowell
Isbn 0465004660
Genre Philosophy
Year 2007-06-05
Pages 352
Language English
File format PDF

Few issues have revealed deeper divisions in our society than the debate between creationism and evolution, between religion and science. Yet from the fray, Reverend Michael Dowd has emerged as a reconciler, finding faith strengthened by the power of reason. With evidence from contemporary astrophysics, geology, biology, anthropology, and evolutionary psychology, Thank God for Evolution lays out a compelling argument for how religion and science can be mutually enriching forces in our lives. Praised by Nobel laureates in the scientific community and religious leaders alike, Thank God for Evolution will expand the horizon of what is possible for self, for relationships, and for our world.

Author Michael Dowd
Isbn 1440635617
Genre Religion
Year 2008-06-19
Pages 448
Language English
File format PDF

In this rigorous and supremely honest book Alain de Botton helps us navigate the intimate and exciting – yet often confusing and difficult – experience that is sex. Few of us tend to feel we’re entirely normal when it comes to sex, and what we’re supposed to be feeling rarely matches up with the reality. This book argues that 21st-century sex is ultimately fated to be a balancing act between love and desire, and adventure and commitment. Covering topics that include lust, fetishism, adultery and pornography, Alain de Botton frankly articulates the dilemmas of modern sexuality, offering insights and consolation to help us think more deeply and wisely about the sex we are, or aren’t, having. One in the new series of books from The School of Life, launched May 2012: How to Stay Sane by Philippa Perry How to Find Fulfilling Work by Roman Krznaric How to Worry Less About Money by John Armstrong How to Change the World by John-Paul Flintoff How to Thrive in the Digital Age by Tom Chatfield How to Think More About Sex by Alain de Botton

Author Alain de Botton,The School of Life
Isbn 0230766129
Genre Self-Help
Year 2012-05-10
Pages 160
Language English
File format PDF

What kind of animals are human beings? And how do our visions of the human shape our theories of social action and institutions? In Moral, Believing Animals, Christian Smith advances a creative theory of human persons and culture that offers innovative, challenging answers to these and other fundamental questions in sociological, cultural, and religious theory. Smith suggests that human beings have a peculiar set of capacities and proclivities that distinguishes them significantly from other animals on this planet. Despite the vast differences in humanity between cultures and across history, no matter how differently people narrate their lives and histories, there remains an underlying structure of human personhood that helps to order human culture, history, and narration. Drawing on important recent insights in moral philosophy, epistemology, and narrative studies, Smith argues that humans are animals who have an inescapable moral and spiritual dimension. They cannot avoid a fundamental moral orientation in life and this, says Smith, has profound consequences for how sociology must study human beings.

Author Christian Smith
Isbn 0199883025
Genre Social Science
Year 2003-07-10
Pages 172
Language English
File format PDF

A leading cognitive scientist argues that a deep sense of good and evil is bred in the bone. From John Locke to Sigmund Freud, philosophers and psychologists have long believed that we begin life as blank moral slates. Many of us take for granted that babies are born selfish and that it is the role of society—and especially parents—to transform them from little sociopaths into civilized beings. In Just Babies, Paul Bloom argues that humans are in fact hardwired with a sense of morality. Drawing on groundbreaking research at Yale, Bloom demonstrates that, even before they can speak or walk, babies judge the goodness and badness of others’ actions; feel empathy and compassion; act to soothe those in distress; and have a rudimentary sense of justice. Still, this innate morality is limited, sometimes tragically. We are naturally hostile to strangers, prone to parochialism and bigotry. Bringing together insights from psychology, behavioral economics, evolutionary biology, and philosophy, Bloom explores how we have come to surpass these limitations. Along the way, he examines the morality of chimpanzees, violent psychopaths, religious extremists, and Ivy League professors, and explores our often puzzling moral feelings about sex, politics, religion, and race. In his analysis of the morality of children and adults, Bloom rejects the fashionable view that our moral decisions are driven mainly by gut feelings and unconscious biases. Just as reason has driven our great scientific discoveries, he argues, it is reason and deliberation that makes possible our moral discoveries, such as the wrongness of slavery. Ultimately, it is through our imagination, our compassion, and our uniquely human capacity for rational thought that we can transcend the primitive sense of morality we were born with, becoming more than just babies. Paul Bloom has a gift for bringing abstract ideas to life, moving seamlessly from Darwin, Herodotus, and Adam Smith to The Princess Bride, Hannibal Lecter, and Louis C.K. Vivid, witty, and intellectually probing, Just Babies offers a radical new perspective on our moral lives.

Author Paul Bloom
Isbn 0307886867
Genre Psychology
Year 2013-11-12
Pages 288
Language English
File format PDF

While belief in religious supernatural claims is waning throughout the West, evidence suggests belief in nonreligious supernatural claims is on the rise. What explains this contradiction? How can a society with a falling belief in God have a rising belief in ghosts, psychic powers, ancient astronauts, and other supernatural or pseudo-scientific phenomena? Taking the same anthropological approach he employed in his notable studies of religion, atheist author and activist David G. McAfee turns his attention to nonreligious faith-based claims. Whether going undercover as a medium, getting tested at Scientology headquarters in Los Angeles, or interviewing celebrity paranormalists and famous skeptics, he leaves no stone unturned in his investigation. As in the case of religion, he finds an unwillingness among "believers" to critically examine their most closely held convictions. Only once individuals honestly assess their own sacred cows will they be able to ensure that their beliefs conform to the known facts—and that our decisions as a society are based on the best available evidence.

Author David G. McAfee,Yvette d'Entremont
Isbn 1634311191
Genre Religion
Year 2017-08-22
Pages 448
Language English
File format PDF

A look at how new technologies can be put to use in the creation of a more just society. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not likely to make humans redundant. Nor will it create superintelligence anytime soon. But it will make huge advances in the next two decades, revolutionize medicine, entertainment, and transport, transform jobs and markets, and vastly increase the amount of information that governments and companies have about individuals. AI for Good leads off with economist and best-selling author Daron Acemoglu, who argues that there are reasons to be concerned about these developments. AI research today pays too much attention to the technological hurtles ahead without enough attention to its disruptive effects on the fabric of society: displacing workers while failing to create new opportunities for them and threatening to undermine democratic governance itself. But the direction of AI development is not preordained. Acemoglu argues for its potential to create shared prosperity and bolster democratic freedoms. But directing it to that task will take great effort: It will require new funding and regulation, new norms and priorities for developers themselves, and regulations over new technologies and their applications. At the intersection of technology and economic justice, this book will bring together experts--economists, legal scholars, policy makers, and developers--to debate these challenges and consider what steps tech companies can do take to ensure the advancement of AI does not further diminish economic prospects of the most vulnerable groups of population.

Author Daron Acemoglu
Isbn 1946511633
Genre Computers
Year 2021-05-25
Pages 192
Language English
File format PDF

The Believing Brain is bestselling author Michael Shermer's comprehensive and provocative theory on how beliefs are born, formed, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished. In this work synthesizing thirty years of research, psychologist, historian of science, and the world's best-known skeptic Michael Shermer upends the traditional thinking about how humans form beliefs about the world. Simply put, beliefs come first and explanations for beliefs follow. The brain, Shermer argues, is a belief engine. From sensory data flowing in through the senses, the brain naturally begins to look for and find patterns, and then infuses those patterns with meaning. Our brains connect the dots of our world into meaningful patterns that explain why things happen, and these patterns become beliefs. Once beliefs are formed the brain begins to look for and find confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs, which accelerates the process of reinforcing them, and round and round the process goes in a positive-feedback loop of belief confirmation. Shermer outlines the numerous cognitive tools our brains engage to reinforce our beliefs as truths. Interlaced with his theory of belief, Shermer provides countless real-world examples of how this process operates, from politics, economics, and religion to conspiracy theories, the supernatural, and the paranormal. Ultimately, he demonstrates why science is the best tool ever devised to determine whether or not a belief matches reality.

Author Michael Shermer
Isbn 9781429972611
Genre Psychology
Year 2011-05-24
Pages 400
Language English
File format PDF

A groundbreaking and challenging examination of the social, cognitive, neurological, and biological roots of psychopathy, cruelty, and evil Borderline personality disorder, autism, narcissism, psychosis: All of these syndromes have one thing in common--lack of empathy. In some cases, this absence can be dangerous, but in others it can simply mean a different way of seeing the world.In The Science of Evil Simon Baron-Cohen, an award-winning British researcher who has investigated psychology and autism for decades, develops a new brain-based theory of human cruelty. A true psychologist, however, he examines social and environmental factors that can erode empathy, including neglect and abuse. Based largely on Baron-Cohen's own research, The Science of Evil will change the way we understand and treat human cruelty.

Author Simon Baron-Cohen
Isbn 0465023800
Genre Psychology
Year 2011-05-06
Pages 256
Language English
File format PDF

A five-time Moth GrandSLAM winner and bestselling novelist shows how to tell a great story — and why doing so matters. Whether we realize it or not, we are always telling stories. On a first date or job interview, at a sales presentation or therapy appointment, with family or friends, we are constantly narrating events and interpreting emotions and actions. In this compelling book, storyteller extraordinaire Matthew Dicks presents wonderfully straightforward and engaging tips and techniques for constructing, telling, and polishing stories that will hold the attention of your audience (no matter how big or small). He shows that anyone can learn to be an appealing storyteller, that everyone has something “storyworthy” to express, and, perhaps most important, that the act of creating and telling a tale is a powerful way of understanding and enhancing your own life.

Author Matthew Dicks
Isbn 1608685497
Genre Performing Arts
Year 2018-05-15
Pages 368
Language English
File format PDF

A brilliant, impassioned, unflinching account of the firestorm of #MeToo, how we got there, and where we must now go. In Women, Men, and the Whole Damn Thing, author David Leser presents an essential and incisive investigation, unearthing the roots of misogyny, its inextricable links to the patriarchy, and how history brought us to the #MeToo movement and the wave of incandescent female rage that is sweeping the world. Crucially, he also interrogates his own psyche, privilege, and culpability as he bears witness to the “collective wound of the world” and asks how we can move towards healing and profound and permanent change. This book calls on men (yes, all men) to be accountable for their contribution to the continuing oppression of women by the patriarchal structures that have dominated our culture historically and through to the present. He argues that misogyny and female oppression is the greatest moral issue of our times and we are all responsible for dismantling the structures which cause such oppression. This book is his journey into how to grapple with both the personal and collective aftermath of #MeToo and the new future. Including interviews with Tina Brown, Zainab Salbi, Marlene Schiappa, and Helen Garner, among other globally recognized names, Women, Men, and the Whole Damn Thing is a bold, honest, and self-searching global overview of the cultural moment of misogyny that we exist in and, perhaps, a way to move forward.

Author David Leser
Isbn 1643136291
Genre Social Science
Year 2021-01-05
Pages 336
Language English
File format PDF

A “landmark book” (Robert J. Sternberg, president of the American Psychological Association) by one of the world's preeminent psychologists that proves human behavior is not “hard-wired” but a function of culture. Everyone knows that while different cultures think about the world differently, they use the same equipment for doing their thinking. But what if everyone is wrong? The Geography of Thought documents Richard Nisbett's groundbreaking international research in cultural psychology and shows that people actually think about—and even see—the world differently because of differing ecologies, social structures, philosophies, and educational systems that date back to ancient Greece and China. As a result, East Asian thought is “holistic”—drawn to the perceptual field as a whole and to relations among objects and events within that field. By contrast, Westerners focus on salient objects or people, use attributes to assign them to categories, and apply rules of formal logic to understand their behavior. From feng shui to metaphysics, from comparative linguistics to economic history, a gulf separates the children of Aristotle from the descendants of Confucius. At a moment in history when the need for cross-cultural understanding and collaboration have never been more important, The Geography of Thought offers both a map to that gulf and a blueprint for a bridge that will span it.

Author Richard Nisbett
Isbn 1439106673
Genre Psychology
Year 2010-10-26
Pages 288
Language English
File format PDF

Collected essays from bestselling author Michael Shermer's celebrated columns in Scientific American For fifteen years, bestselling author Michael Shermer has written a column in Scientific American magazine that synthesizes scientific concepts and theory for a general audience. His trademark combination of deep scientific understanding and entertaining writing style has thrilled his huge and devoted audience for years. Now, in Skeptic, seventy-five of these columns are available together for the first time; a welcome addition for his fans and a stimulating introduction for new readers.

Author Michael Shermer
Isbn 1627791396
Genre Science
Year 2016-01-12
Pages 320
Language English
File format PDF

National Book Award winner Masha Gessen's biography of a ruthless man's ascent to near-absolute power. “In a country where journalists critical of the government have a way of meeting untimely deaths, Ms. Gessen has shown remarkable courage in researching and writing this unflinching indictment of the most powerful man in Russia.” —The Wall Street Journal The Man Without a Face is the chilling account of how a low- level, small-minded KGB operative ascended to the Russian presidency and, in an astonishingly short time, destroyed years of progress and made his country once more a threat to her own people and to the world. Handpicked as a successor by the "family" surrounding an ailing and increasingly unpopular Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin seemed like a perfect choice for the oligarchy to shape according to its own designs. Suddenly the boy who had stood in the shadows, dreaming of ruling the world, was a public figure, and his popularity soared. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to see the progressive leader of their dreams, even as he seized control of media, sent political rivals and critics into exile or to the grave, and smashed the country's fragile electoral system, concentrating power in the hands of his cronies. As a journalist living in Moscow, Masha Gessen experienced this history firsthand, and for The Man Without a Face she has drawn on information and sources no other writer has tapped. Her account of how a "faceless" man maneuvered his way into absolute—and absolutely corrupt—power is the definitive biography of Vladimir Putin.

Author Masha Gessen
Isbn 1101560606
Genre Biography & Autobiography
Year 2012-03-01
Pages 336
Language English
File format PDF