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Jonathan Haidt (@jonhaidt) is a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Jonathan received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. His research examines the intuitive foundations of morality and how morality varies across cultural and political divisions. He is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis and the New York Times bestsellers The Righteous Mind and The Coddling of the American Mind (with Greg Lukianoff).
He has given four TED Talks, and in 2019 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Since 2018 Jonathan has been studying the contributions of social media to the decline of teen mental health and the rise of political dysfunction. He is currently writing two books: Kids in Space: Why Teen Mental Health Is Collapsingand Life after Babel: Adapting to a World We Can No Longer Share.
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[06:51] Richard Shweder.
[08:59] Making sense of assertions in anthropology.
[13:50] Why I invited Jon on the show.
[15:05] Moral relativism.
[21:24] How an emergentist views human rights violations.
[23:58] A turning point: why Jon almost never gets angry anymore.
[26:35] Taking LSD for the first time.
[32:21] My own transformative experience was happening simultaneously.
[34:15] Were my politics influenced or altered by this experience?
[40:17] What being a Jewish atheist means to Jon.
[45:13] From feud to friendship with Sam Harris.
[50:19] Complex dynamical system.
[54:36] How safe spaces and character cancellation took over colleges.
[1:00:50] Why did the University of Chicago initially resist this trend?
[1:02:13] What makes businesses more resilient against this trend than colleges?
[1:07:18] The University of Austin: a catalyst for academic reform?
[1:11:16] The aim of Jon’s Heterodox Academy.
[1:15:31] Distilling John Stuart Mill — the patron saint of viewpoint diversity.
[1:17:26] Aging out of anger and the disarming power of Daryl Davis.
[1:20:37] How to get smarter, stronger, and more sociable.
[1:22:55] After Babbel.
[1:24:46] What the holy and hitched can impart about happiness for the secular and single.
[1:29:20] What’s happening to Gen Z?
[1:32:17] Jon and his wife’s free-range parenting style for fostering independence.
[1:37:30] Group sports vs. individualist sports.
[1:40:40] A tough coach or teacher tests limits and taps potential.
[1:46:38] Developing intellectual antifragility.
[1:49:27] Jon’s billboard.
[1:52:00] Revisiting practical philosophies when times get tough.
[1:57:20] Parting thoughts.
For show notes and past guests on The Tim Ferriss Show, please visit tim.blog/podcast.
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Past guests on The Tim Ferriss Show include Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh Jackman, Dr. Jane Goodall, LeBron James, Kevin Hart, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jamie Foxx, Matthew McConaughey, Esther Perel, Elizabeth Gilbert, Terry Crews, Sia, Yuval Noah Harari, Malcolm Gladwell, Madeleine Albright, Cheryl Strayed, Jim Collins, Mary Karr, Maria Popova, Sam Harris, Michael Phelps, Bob Iger, Edward Norton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Neil Strauss, Ken Burns, Maria Sharapova, Marc Andreessen, Neil Gaiman, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Jocko Willink, Daniel Ek, Kelly Slater, Dr. Peter Attia, Seth Godin, Howard Marks, Dr. Brené Brown, Eric Schmidt, Michael Lewis, Joe Gebbia, Michael Pollan, Dr. Jordan Peterson, Vince Vaughn, Brian Koppelman, Ramit Sethi, Dax Shepard, Tony Robbins, Jim Dethmer, Dan Harris, Ray Dalio, Naval Ravikant, Vitalik Buterin, Elizabeth Lesser, Amanda Palmer, Katie Haun, Sir Richard Branson, Chuck Palahniuk, Arianna Huffington, Reid Hoffman, Bill Burr, Whitney Cummings, Rick Rubin, Dr. Vivek Murthy, Darren Aronofsky, Margaret Atwood, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, Dr. Gabor Maté, Anne Lamott, Sarah Silverman, Dr. Andrew Huberman, and many more.