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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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Kohlberg’s Theory

Kohlberg’s Theory

A Critique and New View

Chapter:
(p.81) 4 Kohlberg’s Theory
Source:
Moral Development and Reality
Author(s):

John C. Gibbs

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199976171.003.0004

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.

Keywords:   morality, Lawrence Kohlberg, Jean Piaget, John Dewey, moral judgment, right, moral development

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