SIM and the city: Rationalism in psychology and philosophy and Haidt's account of moral judgment
Jonathan Haidt (2001) advances the 'Social Intuitionist' account of moral judgment, which he presents as an alternative to rationalist accounts of moral judgment, hitherto dominant in psychology. Here I consider Haidt's anti-rationalism and the debate that it has provoked in moral psychology, as well as some anti-rationalist philosophical claims that Haidt and others have grounded in the empirical work of Haidt and his collaborators. I will argue that although the case for anti-rationalism in moral psychology based on the work of Haidt and his collaborators is plausible, a decisive case has yet to be made. It will require further experimental evidence before a decisive case could be made. My assessment of anti-rationalist philosophical arguments that are grounded in the empirical work of Haidt and his collaborators is much more negative than this. I will argue that this body of empirical work is a very unpromising basis for such arguments.