Why are we so morally divided?

Why can’t our political leaders work together as threats loom and problems mount? Why do people so readily assume the worst about the motives of their fellow citizens? In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding.
His starting point is moral intuition—the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt shows us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right. He blends his own research findings with those of anthropologists, historians, and other psychologists to draw a map of the moral domain. He then examines the origins of morality, overturning the view that evolution made us fundamentally selfish creatures. But rather than arguing that we are innately altruistic, he makes a more subtle claim—that we are fundamentally groupish. It is our groupishness, he explains, that leads to our greatest joys, our religious divisions, and our political affiliations. In a stunning final chapter on ideology and civility, Haidt shows what each side is right about, and why we need the insights of liberals, conservatives, and libertarians to flourish as a nation.

Course Overview

This is a relaxed "book club" style course that will provide a group to read and discuss this book. Discussions will be held asynchronously on Discord and on Teachable.

There will be a live meeting towards the end of the class (details below)

Due to the subject matter and writing style, this course is recommended for adults, especially parents interested in expanding their horizons to better support their children in a global world.

This book will also benefit college-bound teens because it will start challenging assumptions and habits of thought that can present difficulties for many learners at the university level.

This book is preceded by a similar course reading The WEIRDest People in the World by Joseph Henrich.

Course Details


October 9 - November 19, 2023

Live Meeting will be on Thursday, November 16, 2023 at 8:00 PM Eastern / 7:00 PM Central / 6:00 PM Mountain / 5:00 PM Pacific Time.

This meeting will be recorded and the recording will be made available to registered participants for 1 week after the class ends.

Age Range


Mature Teens interested in this book

Class Size

Up to 20 learners


  • A readable copy of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion (see edition information here, audiobook available).
  • A free Discord account
  • A free Zoom account (mic and camera optional but recommended)

There will be no assignments or evaluation for this class. Participants are encouraged to contribute to an interactive and thoughtful experience for everyone.

A reading guide will be provided to support reading and to focus discussions.

Choose a Pricing Option

Note: This class will be delivered on the Dayla Learning platform, but it is being purchased on SEA Online Classes. The content and the platform (Teachable) will be exactly the same, but you may notice some branding/logo changes as this transition takes place. Feel free to reach out with questions at any time.