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Uncovering ‘the Political’ in Political Psychology

  • David John Hall
Chapter

Abstract

In this paper I prepare the ground for a realist political psychology by drawing on recent methodological debates between moralists and realists about the place of empirical facts in normative political theory. To anchor the discussion, I focus on Jonathan Haidt’s social intuitionist model (SIM) of moral and political judgment, an empirically grounded theory that has risen to prominence over the last decade. I argue that the SIM does not, as Haidt presumes, present a substantive challenge to rationalist normative philosophy. What is needed is a more critical framework; accordingly, I examine the SIM in relation to political realism, especially the work of Bernard Williams. However, any such alliance must involve a reckoning with realism’s critical theory commitments, directed in particular toward Haidt’s interpretation of his empirical findings. These discussions create the space for a realist political psychology, which balances the demand for empirical reflection with the philosophical sophistication of existing political theories.

Keywords

Moral Judgment Political Theory Moral Philosophy Moral Theory Moral Foundation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St Antony’s CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordU.K.

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