Because moral reframing works, we know that cultural differences in moral psychology are likely to matter for overcoming political conflict. Because the leading theoretical explanation of why moral reframing works faces some interesting objections, we do not yet understand why differences in moral psychology matter.
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Do cultural differences in moral psychology explain political conflict on climate change?
We have explored Feinberg and Willer’s argument that cultural differences in moral psychology explain political conflict on climate change. (See The Argument and Some Objections for a summary linking each the claim to the section which covered it.)
This argument, if it works, would support a positive answer to our question. Not only do cultural differences in moral psychology explain political conflict on climate change: such conflict can be overcome by moral reframing.1
Not all of the claims are well supported. In particular, the third claim—‘liberals and conservatives possess different moral profiles’—is not supported by evidence from Moral Foundations Theory (see Operationalising Moral Foundations Theory); and the theoretical justification for predictions about moral reframing appears flawed (see The Argument and Some Objections).
This is one reason why Pogge (2005) on responsibility for global poverty is so interesting. He is attempting to argue in a way that includes only premises even libertarians would accept. Their moral psychology may differ from both liberals’ and conservatives’ (Iyer, Koleva, Graham, Ditto, & Haidt, 2012). Pogge is not doing this himself (as far as I know), but perhaps his arguments lend themselves to moral reframing. ↩