The “Six” Pillars of Morality



Necessity of thriving, surviving and reproducing =>

necessity of cooperation and interdependence =>


values of


  1. benefit / harm    
  2. fairness / reciprocity / proportionality / unfairness, cheating, free-riding    
  3. liberty / oppression     
  4. loyalty to in-group / betrayal of in-group    
  5. respect for authority / tradition / subversion    
  6. sanctity / purity / disgust (physical and moral)  
  7. long-lasting pair bonding for child rearing (“marriage and the family”); related norms
  8. The Patriarchy: mate guarding of females through sexual norms; male protection of women and children (male chivalry)  


All eight can be seen as families of primary values.  


Primary values fall into two categories:

7 and 8 are therefore both moral (concerning benefit/harm and fairness) and conventional (group-oriented) families of values.  7 and 8 are related but distinct.  


See also:  Moral Universals (Brights)



Haidt, Jonathan – “The Righteous Mind – why good people are divided by politics and religion”

Tomasello, Michael – “A Natural History of Human Morality”

Wikipedia: “Moral Foundations Theory”  “Patriarchy”