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Moral development

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-W027-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 21, 2024, from

Article Summary

The concept of moral development has its roots in Plato’s metaphor of ascent from the dark recesses of the cave to the initially blinding sight of the form of the good. Influenced by the developmental theories of Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg proposed a sequence of stages beginning with two stages of egoism, followed by stages of conventionalism, contractarianism, consequentialism, and finally a Kantianism emphasizing the role of universalizable laws. Recent empirical work has not, however, corroborated moral stage theory. There seems not to be a unified mode of thought that applies to all and only moral problems.

Citing this article:
Flanagan, Owen. Moral development, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-W027-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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