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Moral Development and RealityBeyond the Theories of Kohlberg, Hoffman, and Haidt$
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John C. Gibbs

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199976171

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199976171.001.0001

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“The Right” and Moral Development

“The Right” and Moral Development

Fundamental Themes of Kohlberg’s Cognitive Developmental Approach

(p.39) 3 “The Right” and Moral Development
Moral Development and Reality

John C. Gibbs

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the fundamental themes of Lawrence Kohlberg's cognitive developmental approach to morality. It first assesses Kohlberg's contextualization of moral development within social and non-social (or physical) cognitive development before turning to a discussion of the phenomenological world of the young child, with emphasis on the construction of reciprocity as an ideal or the moral point of view. It then explores the link between morality and logic, the ideals of fairness or moral reciprocity, moral judgment through social perspective coordination during and beyond the years of childhood, and issues in the concept and assessment of “stages” in the development of moral judgment. The chapter concludes by evaluating the cognitive developmental theme of cross-culturally evident growth beyond the superficial as pervasive and stable enough in morality to support the argument that moral development is not reducible to—although supportable by—socialization or enculturation.

Keywords:   cognitive development, Lawrence Kohlberg, morality, logic, fairness, moral reciprocity, moral judgment, young child, moral development, socialization

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