Haidt's moral intuitionist theory: A psychological and philosophical critique

Herbert D. Saltzstein, Tziporah Kasachkoff

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71 Scopus citations


Jon Haidt's (2001) proposal for a moral intutionist theory of morality is criticized on psychological and philosophical grounds, including (a) the apparent reduction of social influence to one kind, overt compliance, and the virtual ignoring of the role of persuasion in moral and other decision making; (b) the failure to distinguish development of a psychological entity from its deployment or functioning; and (c) the failure to consider, in distinguishing cause and reason as explanatory concepts, the motivating power of reasons. Arguments for an evolutionary approach to morality are also faulted on the grounds that they assume that adaptation is served by nonmoral rather than moral (fairness- and benevolence-based) criteria. Finally, the authors suggest that an intuitionist approach such as that of Haidt may obscure important aspects of moral decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-282
Number of pages10
JournalReview of General Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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