Are most self-identifying rightards best characterized by a lack of sensibility, if not sense? Could they be described as suffering some kind of social autism?
People with autism or Asperger’s typically have difficulty in reading and appropriately responding to other people’s emotions. I know of no evidence that this is particularly common among right-of-centre people (though Tyler Cowen has a sympathetic chapter on the issue in his latest book, prompted by a suggestion that he might have Asperger’s). But liberalism does, I think, have a more constrained and sceptical view than other political philosophies on the role of the emotions in public life. Continue reading “Liberalism and the emotions”