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Universalism without UniformityExplorations in Mind and Culture$
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Julia L. Cassaniti and Usha Menon

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226501543

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226501710.001.0001

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How Cultural Psychology Can Help Us See “Divinity” in a Secular World

How Cultural Psychology Can Help Us See “Divinity” in a Secular World

(p.32) Two How Cultural Psychology Can Help Us See “Divinity” in a Secular World
Universalism without Uniformity

Jonathan Haidt

Paul Rozin

University of Chicago Press

This essay describes the ways that our thinking about morality changed in response to Richard Shweder’s writings about morality, and in particular his description of the “ethics of divinity.” It first describes Shweder’s theory of the “three ethics” of moral discourse and explain why the theory was so important for moral psychology. It then shows how useful the ethics of divinity has been for understanding some puzzles about sexual morality, bioethical controversies, and the American culture war more generally, and closes with an endorsement of moral pluralism. It uses the story of Flatland, a short novel by the English mathematician Edwin Abbot, published in 1884, as an analogy to describe the move from psychology to cultural psychology that such a perspective enables.

Keywords:   divinity, secularism, Three Ethics, moral discourse, Flatland, cultural psychology, cross-cultural psychology, Sexual morality, bioethics

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