Prof. Steven Fesmire (philosophy and environmental studies) spent early June in Michigan on the faculty of a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) summer institute: “Moral Psychology and Education: Putting the Humanities to Work.” He spent the rest of June and July as a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. Steve argues in his recent research that our chief obstacle to conscientious citizenship in pluralistic democratic societies is moral fundamentalism, a term coined by Mark Johnson in Morality for Humans (2014). He defines moral fundamentalism as a disposition to act as though there is a single right way to deal with moral or political problems and hence a single theoretically correct formulation of, or approvable solution to, any particular moral or political problem. “A tragic result is that, instead of mutually transformative dialogue, every discussion begins with a foregone conclusion,” he writes.
/ / / Prof. Steven Fesmire a Research Fellow at University of Edinburgh