Friday, October 03, 2008

Liberal vs. Conservative & A Psychology of Heroism

Part 1 - Liberal vs Conservative

I can just hear the thundering protest now, and I confess that though I fall in the "liberal" category for the most part*, I felt myself strongly resisting the stereotypes set forth here. In any case, try and relax your knee-jerk reflex and take in the entire presentation, because this ends up being pretty compelling and supportive of both points of view. I'm not convinced you can bifurcate these positions so cleanly, though I concede that Prof. Haidt doesn't have a lot of time here for variations. Still, I can't say I really disagree, but I'd love to hear what you think.

And just so you don't think I'm picking on anyone in particular, which given Haidt's direction to cultivate moral humility, I should not...

Part 2 - A Psychology of Heroism

Here is Philip Zimbardo, Prof. Emeritus at Stanford, famous for the Stanford Prison experiment, on why people of any stripe do good and evil. I found myself questioning him on his participation in that study, which for me falls into the same tangled terrain of "evil." This matter is addressed and wow! what a lovely surprise ending. Be prepared, if you chose to watch, that there are upsetting photos from Abu Ghraib you might not want to see.

"Promote the heroic imagination in kids." Indeed.

(*more by his definition than the bogus dem-rep split.)

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