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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: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190878214

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190878214.001.0001

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“The Right” and Moral Development

“The Right” and Moral Development

Fundamental Themes of Kohlberg’s Cognitive Developmental Approach

(p.45) 3 “The Right” and Moral Development
Moral Development and Reality

John C. Gibbs

Oxford University Press

This chapter explicates cognitive developmental themes in moral development. The attention of young children is readily captured by or centered on that which is immediate and salient in their sociomoral and non-social worlds. Just as centrations and superficiality characterize early childhood moral judgment, “decentration” and depth can be said to characterize the moral competence constructed in the school years and beyond. We relate morality to logic (cf. Piaget); explain that the ideals of justice or moral reciprocity are constructed, not merely enculturated, socialized, or internalized; explicate the role of peer interaction and social perspective-taking opportunities in this moral constructive process across diverse cultures; argue that justice can be a moral motive in its own right; and ponder issues in the concept and assessment of “stages” in the development of moral judgment.

Keywords:   cognitive development, Jean Piaget, Piagetian tasks, justice, moral reciprocity, moral judgment stages, moral development, egocentrism

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