WRD 104: Composition & Rhetoric II Rotating Header Image

Key terms for exploration: cosmopolitan, liberal, conservative

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, by Jonathan Haidt

From the book description:

As America descends deeper into polarization and paralysis, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has done the seemingly impossible—challenged conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to everyone on the political spectrum. Drawing on his twenty five years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology, he 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.

Is it a “liberal bias,” or is it a “cosmopolitan outlook”?

MK: Well, Jill, leaving you out of it, would you say someone from Mars coming to read The New York Times for a month would recognize any ideological preference?

JA: Well, on the editorial and opinion pages they would.

MK: No, no, on the news pages.

JA: Um, I think that they would recognize a sort of cosmopolitan outlook that reflects that, even as we become international, we’re a New York–based news institution. I can see how the intensity of coverage on certain issues may to some people seem to reflect a liberal point of view. But I actually don’t think it does.

From “A Q&A With Jill Abramson” (part of a series on “The Future of the New York Times”)

  • This chart provides some of the values associated with “conservative” and “liberal” ideologies: . I find it helpful always to start with values: what do people value? How did they come to value that?

  • “Cosmopolitanism” in the OED.

  • An excerpt from Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think

  • “The question was put to him what country he was from, and he replied, ‘I am a citizen of the world’.” —Diogenes (404-423 BC)