Category Archives: psychology

Sam Harris and the Incredible, Shrinking Idea

I’m going to do something I rarely do. I’m going to recommend that you NOT buy a book. That’s because there is no there there, no beef on the bun of Sam Harris’ already bestselling The Moral Landscape. Harris throws … Continue reading

Posted in morality, philosophy, psychology, religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Sam Harris and the Truck-Sized Hole in the Book

Flaming arrows are heading Sam Harris’ way because of his new book, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values. The problem, says my old blogging friend Josh Rosenau, is the truck-sized hole in the middle of Harris’ argument. … Continue reading

Posted in morality, Practicing Goodness, psychology | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Not My Science of Morality

Notre Dame Psychology Professor Darcia Narvaez mutters the obvious about the Edge Foundation conference and its consensus statement on the science of morality: Can a bunch of white guys, experimenting on inexperienced college students REALLY figure out how humans being … Continue reading

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Another Person’s Goodness

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt and his colleagues irritate me. Their reasoned, exhaustive work on morality makes it impossible for me to do what I want to do: Claim the high ground, declare that my idea of goodness is the only definition … Continue reading

Posted in good vs. evil, morality, psychology | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Problem with the Enlightenment

I’ve always been a big fan of the Enlightenment. When I came across a quote in a paper by Jonathan Haidt and Craig Joseph, however, I began to wonder if all that emphasis on reason and rational action had left … Continue reading

Posted in Becoming Good, psychology | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

What Marc Hauser Did

As folks continue to chuckle or despair over the spectacle of a morality researcher caught in an act of immorality, more details are emerging about Harvard Professor Marc Hauser’s scientific misconduct. Slate provides a good overview of Hauser’s problematic research … Continue reading

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We May Be Hard Wired To Be Moral

Yale Psychologist Paul Bloom believes human beings are hard-wired to be moral. During the discussion of his work at the Edge Foundation conference on the New Science of Morality, Bloom clarifies that he’s more hesitant about his conclusions than he … Continue reading

Posted in good vs. evil, morality, psychology | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Updating – Morality Researcher Found Guilty of Misconduct

The other shoe has dropped for Harvard researcher Marc Hauser with the announcement that he has been found guilty of scientific misconduct. In a well written and interesting piece, Florida State Professor Michael Ruse puts this in context and argues … Continue reading

Posted in psychology | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Our Morally Stressed Culture

Today I came across research that prompted me to consider a rather nasty question: Is our culture so stressed and dysfunctional that we are swiftly becoming incapable of acting morally? The first warning note was sounded by Notre Dame Psychologist … Continue reading

Posted in Becoming Good, psychology | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Morality Researcher Under Investigation

What happens to the field of moral psychology when one of its most prominent researchers is under investigation for tampering with his findings? This question is anything but academic since the news broke this week about a years-long investigation at … Continue reading

Posted in morality, psychology | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Morality Is the Problem We Refuse to Face

As I continue to wade through the discussions from the Edge Foundation’s conference on The New Science of Morality, I keep bumping into ideas that set off fireworks in my brain. These, by the way, are delicious, sweet fireworks. Today … Continue reading

Posted in morality, psychology | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

The Curse of the Liberal

It’s been weeks since the Edge Foundation held its amazing conference on The New Science of Morality, and I still haven’t been able to digest all that was discussed. I couldn’t attend this select meeting, but like many other people, … Continue reading

Posted in morality, psychology | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Done In by the Facts

I’ve long suspected that the path to goodness can only be paved by fact. If  you don’t have a strong sense of what’s real, what’s accurate and what isn’t, how the heck can you do what’s right? For example, a … Continue reading

Posted in Becoming Good, good vs. evil, psychology | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Can We Trust Our Own Minds?

Apparently we can’t, or at least that’s the conclusion Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons reach in their book The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us. Reviewer Paul Bloom, a Yale psychology professor, writes: If we can’t eliminate … Continue reading

Posted in psychology, The Reading List | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment