A Critique and New View
This chapter examines Lawrence Kohlberg's theory of morality. It first considers Kohlberg's use of Jean Piaget's work and the stage-developmental writings of John Dewey to fashion a six-stage sequence that he hoped would be clearly invariant and long-lasting in scope. It then shows how that attempt resulted in a misrepresentation of “development” in the Piagetian sense and the nature of moral judgment maturity, even as Kohlberg succeeded in establishing the increasing importance of contemplative (or hypothetical-deductive) reflection in moral judgment development. More specifically, the chapter argues that Kohlberg's specific stage typology was misguided and accordingly proposes a new view of “the right” in moral development.
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