Conservatives have broader moral sense than liberals. All praise to Haidt for having the openmindedness and courage to change his view, but I marvel at how incurious and bigoted he was before his metanoia. What sort of person ignores whole swaths of the intellectual terrain without any desire to explore at first hand? That sort of narrowness among supposed intellectuals has always amazed me. Analytic philosophers are a particularly bigoted bunch. Not all, of course, but far too many. Some even brag of their ignorance. "I have never read Hegel and I have no intention of reading him."
Then get out of here you contemptible bigot!
Before stumbling across the Muller anthology, the popular former University of Virginia psychology professor thought of conservatism as a “Frankenstein monster,” he says — an ugly mishmash of Christian fundamentalism, racism and authoritarianism.
So without any first-hand acquaintance with conservative thought, Haidt bought into an ugly misrepresentation. But, as I said, he has come around and ought to be praised for that.
At Yale, Mr. Haidt majored in philosophy to find some answers. Discovering that academic philosophy had abandoned the big questions of human nature, morality, and the good life, Mr. Haidt turned to psychology — and found his calling.
It is simply false to say that academic philosophy has abandoned the Big Questions. That was true in the '30s, '40s, and '50s for the logical positivists and some of their successors and fellow travellers, but by the time Haidt went to college in the '80s the Big Questions were securely back in the saddle even in the mainstream. To give but one example, consider Thomas Nagel 1979 collection of essays entitled Mortal Questions.