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Mapping the moral domain. J Pers Soc Psychol ; 2 : They argue that individualizing foundations are so widespread that they might be said to be universal, while groups and cultures could be differently concerned about the respect for social roles or about how people treat their own bodies.

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In the United States, the essential element of all forms of liberalism is individual liberty [ 12 Gutmann A. Oxford: Pergamon ; pp. Liberals have historically taken an optimistic view of human nature and of human perfectibility; embracing what Sowell [ 13 Sowell T. A conflict of vision: Ideological origins of political struggles What is conservative social and political thought?

In: Muller JZ. Conservatism: An anthology of social and political thought from David Hume to the present. Princeton: Princeton University Press ; pp. Thus, conservatism assumes people need the constraints of authority, institutions, and traditions to live civilly with one another. Also, in terms of their personalities, liberals and conservatives are found to differ considerably [ 10 van Leeuwen F, Park JH.

Political conservatism as motivated social cognition. Psychol Bull ; 3 : The authoritarian dynamic In: Fiske S, Gilbert D. Handbook of Social Psychology, 5th Edition. Hoboken: Wiley ; pp. Furthermore, we aim to explore the role of Catholicism within such a realm. Considering that the interaction between politics and Catholicism has always been robust in Italy, neglecting religion means overlooking a hypothetically significant factor in explaining moral reasoning and politics. Italy has a multi-party political system with considerable fragmentation among its political parties.

Donald Sassoon [ 19 Sassoon D. The Italian anomaly? Comp Eur Polit ; In politics alone, Italy was peculiar as compared with other Westernized countries with people committed to the same Catholic party i. Moreover, like West Germany, Italy was post-authoritarian, under considerable United States influence, with a highly unstable and dysfunctional form of parliamentary politics, and rapidly changing governments, as well as systemic corruption.

In the early s, the Italian party system underwent a process of complete meltdown.

The Quest for Moral Foundations by Montague Brown

The result was the collapse of the so-called First Republic and the break-up of the DC. Between and , Italian political parties were organized into two broad Left and Right-wing coalitions. Personalities and politics: Values, traits and political choice. Polit Psychol ; I valori e le preferenze politiche [Values and political preference]. Milano: Franco Angeli The political brain New York: Public affairs The voters reasons. La frattura etica La ragionevole sconfitta della sinistra [The ethic fracture. Left reasonable defeat].

Between ideology and social representations: Four theses plus a new one on the relevance and the meaning of the political Left and Right. Eur J Polit Res ; Political Parties and Party Systems. Europeanization: New Research Agendas. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan ; pp. Natale [ 33 Natale P. Torino: Utet The Left-Right Schema. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter Destra e sinistra [Right and Left] Basic personal values, core political values, and voting: A longitudinal analysis. Polit Psychol ; 31 3 : Religion is the fundamental domain of moral values, beliefs, and action for most individuals and groups.

Religion emphasizes certain aspects of morality that are generally less important for non-religious people, such as the ethics of divinity and purity [ 37 Bloom P.

Introduction to Hume's Moral Philosophy

Religion, morality, evolution. Annu Rev Psychol ; Beyond beliefs: religions bind individuals into moral communities. Pers Soc Psychol Rev ; 14 1 : Starting from Durkheim's [ 39 Durkheim E. The elementary forms of religious life Religion is supposedly a complex system with many social functions, one of which is to bind people within cooperative communities organized around deities [ 38 Graham J, Haidt J.

Sacred values and evil adversaries: A Moral Foundations approach.

The Quest for Moral Foundations: An Introduction to Ethics

In: Shaver P, Mikulincer M. The social psychology of morality: Exploring the causes of Good and Evil. Glover [ 41 Glover RJ. Relationships in moral reasoning and religion among members of conservative, moderate, and liberal religious groups. J Soc Psychol ; 2 : Correlational analyses produce evidence of relationships between moral reasoning and religiousness, although those relationships are not consistent when examined separately within the three groups.

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Balzer [ 42 Balzer A. She argues that individuals could have a different interpretation of moral insights. For instance, political liberals, religious modernists and communitarians may see fairness and harm displayed as social justice limiting disparities and defending vulnerable people.

She found evidence that binding values help to explain an orientation toward a society that manifests itself in conservative political beliefs and conservative religious salience and beliefs. Shariff [ 43 Shariff AF. Does religion increase moral behavior? Curr Opin Psychol ; 6: Individualizing foundations are specific for secular contractual societies prioritizing individual rights and where the binding foundations are less important, or even eliciting racism, prejudice or nationalism, authoritarianism, homophobia and disgust-based restrictions on some minority groups [ 18 Haidt J, Kesebir S. A decade of system justification theory: Accumulated evidence of conscious and unconscious bolstering of the status quo. System justification theory. Handbook of theories of social psychology.

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Volume 2. London: Sage ; pp. J Theor Philos Psychol ; 34 1 : Akin to political conservatives, more religious people tend to be more dogmatic [ 47 Altemeyer B. Dogmatic behavior among students: Testing a new measure of dogmatism. J Soc Psychol ; 6 : Religious orthodoxy and the complexity of thought about religious and nonreligious issues. J Pers ; Intolerance of ambiguity as a personality variable. Acceptance and rejection of arguments in relation to attitude strength, critical ability, and intolerance of inconsistency.

J Abnorm Psychol ; The psychology of religion: An empirical approach Religion and the five factors of personality: A meta-analytic review. Pers Individ Dif ; 32 1 : Value priorities and religiosity in four Western religions. Soc Psychol Q ; Saroglou [ 55 Saroglou V.

Beyond dogmatism: The need for closure as related to religion. Ment Health Relig Cult ; 5 2 : Motivated resistance and openness to persuasion in the presence or absence of prior information. J Pers Soc Psychol ; 65 5 : Authoritarianism, religious fundamentalism, quest, and prejudice. Int J Psychol Relig ; 2: A revised religious fundamentalism scale: The short and sweet of it.

Int J Psychol Relig ; He found that the need for cognitive closure is positively correlated with both types of Catholic religiousness. However, religious belief systems also serve the important relational function of establishing a shared sense of reality that helps to maintain and coordinate important social relationships based on cooperation [ 59 Jost JT, Ledgerwood A, Hardin CD. Shared reality, system justification, and the relational basis of ideological beliefs. Soc Personal Psychol Compass ; 2: Bloom [ 37 Bloom P.

Many important contemporary political debates are affected by conservative religious precepts and beliefs, for instance in regard to gay marriages, abortion, capital punishment, stem cell research, and others. These endorsements of individualizing foundations of justice and care are not in contrast with the sustainment of binding foundations as in the binding approach.


In the Italian context, the link between morality, religion, and politics is strong. In , with the signing of the concordat between the Italian state and the Holy See, named Patti Lateranensi Lateran Treaties , Catholicism was recognized as the official religion of the Italian State, its sacred seat was established in the Vatican city in Rome, Catholic religion must be taught in schools, while the Italian state has modeled its marriage laws upon its assumptions. A system has also been established whereby taxpayers may donate a very small percentage of their taxes to the Catholic Church.

The leading role of Catholicism within the realm of politics also continued after the fall of fascism, with the establishment of the DC in More recently, Catholicism has continued to play a basic role in defining Italian national identity and in the political equilibrium as we can see from many indicators: Politics and religion in Italy: A Catholic history politics and religion. Politologie Des Religions ; 2 9 : Even Italians who do not see themselves as true believers are generally reluctant to totally abandon religious rituals, such as baptism, signaling a cultural attachment to an inherited community, grounded in society and the family [ 62 Alfani G, Gourdon V, Vitali A.

Social custom and demographic change: The case of godparenthood in Catholic Europe. J Sci Study Relig ; 51 3 : Flexible catholicism, religion and the curch: The italian case. Religions Basel ; 4: This suggests that among people in Italy the Catholic Church is far more important than the political parties [ 61 Martino SC. Since the end of the First Republic, Catholicism has lost its political point of reference in the DC party and thus some influence in the public sphere. Garelli [ 64 Garelli F. The Vatican traditionally plays an important role in Italian policy-making.

It is a powerful and active societal veto-player, having direct access to the decision-making process.