Towards an Attempt to Unravel Normative Assumptions Implicit in Haidt’s Thought


  • Natalia Zavadivker Universidad Nacional de Tucumán / CONICET



Haidt, moral intuitions, moral foundations, intuitionist-social model, conservative-liberal, normativity, adaptive value, evolutionary metaethics


This article aims to investigate, starting from both the analysis of Haidt’s Theory of Moral Foundations, and his Intuitionist-social Model, if there is any implicit normative assumption in the author in relation to the value assigned to moral intuitions, both in relation to to its content and possible adaptive functionality (a matter developed in the FMT), as well as to the mechanisms that trigger such intuitions (a topic addressed in the SIM). An attempt is made to unravel whether the author, beyond considering emotional intuitions as the true cause of moral judgments, ascribes a positive or negative value to this situation. To this end, the motivations underlying various moral intuitions (both of biological roots, linked to various adaptive interests; and of social origin) are examined, in order to analyze Haidt’s contributions to the clarification of a problem of normative metaethics of great impact. at present: can the same normative weight be attributed to any moral foundation in force in human societies; or are only some orientations rational, and therefore morally justifiable? Do they all reveal genuine moral concerns, or do some reflect relevant but not specifically moral adaptive interests, or even selfish aspirations functional to the interests of hegemonic sectors? The implications of the FMT are analyzed as a valuable heuristic guide to interpret the moral concerns of conservatives from an evolutionary meta-ethical approach that allows to overcome the monism of the liberal ethical code, for which the spectrum of genuine moral concerns is reduced to questions of justice, rights and protection of the weakest (since only these would be rationally justifiable). The need to achieve a clearer articulation between the SIM, which puts more emphasis on the processes of acquisition of intuitions through learning and social interaction, and the FMT, that focuses on its content and its possible links with various adaptive interests.


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How to Cite

Zavadivker, N. (2022). Towards an Attempt to Unravel Normative Assumptions Implicit in Haidt’s Thought. Revista De Humanidades De Valparaíso, (19), 245–269.



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