Lesson 8 Part 2: The Myth Of Glaucus

One more week on moral psychology. We’re almost done! This week we’re still talking about Jonathan Haidt, but then I shift to consider as well, the work of another psychologist, who is also a philosopher (by training): Joshua Greene. I talk about his popular book, "Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us And Them". (By ‘popular’ I mean: written for a popular, i.e. non-scholarly specialist audience. I think it sold ok, too. But I don’t really have knowledge of that.) Per the title, it’s about tribalism, which is a big theme in "Reason and Persuasion", from "Euthyphro" to "Republic". Aristotle said we are political animals, by which he meant: living in a Greek style polis is the best! But you know what’s way more popular? Being an ethnic animal. (Greek ethnoi = tribe.) We have an instinct to stick with ‘our own’: family, friends, party, country. How much do we know about what’s going on in the brain, when we are like that? How should the facts about our instincts figure in our moral philosophies?

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