About this topic
Summary The "Moral Education" umbrella covers a number of loosely-connected topics that span ethics, aesthetics, cognitive science, and history of philosophy. These topics are connected through their interest in people's acquisition of moral judgment capacities and understanding of moral norms. Ethicists tend to focus on the cultivation of virtues and training for moral discrimination. Aestheticians tend to focus on literature's influence on people's moral capacities. Cognitive scientists tend to focus on the developmental trajectory of moral capacities. Contemporary discussions have their origins in the works of Plato and Aristotle and, to a lesser extent, the works of Confucians and other classical Chinese philosophers.  [NOTE: This subcategory is limited to (mostly) theoretical works done by philosophers, setting aside works in education theory and in applied and sociological studies of moral education. Many of these other works can be found in Journal of Moral Education and the category "Philosophy of Education".]
Key works Nussbaum 1990 illuminates how the study of moral education connects ancient philosophy, virtue ethics, particularism, and aesthetics.
Introductions Carroll 2000 surveys the moral education issues at the intersection of moral psychology and aesthetics. Liao & Gendler 2011 outlines connections between philosophical works on moral persuasion and empirical findings from communication studies and other social sciences.
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  1. Mark Alfano (2016). Moral Psychology: An Introduction. Polity.
    This book provides a rich, systematic, and accessible introduction to moral psychology, aimed at undergraduate philosophy and psychology majors. There are eight chapters, in addition to a short introduction, prospective conclusion, and extensive bibliography. The recipe for each chapter will be: a) to introduce a philosophical topic (e.g., altruism, virtue, preferences, rules) and some prominent positions on it, without assuming prior acquaintance on the part of the reader b) to canvass and explain the relevance of a particular domain of empirical (...)
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  2. Mark Alfano (2013). Character as Moral Fiction. Cambridge University Press.
    Everyone wants to be virtuous, but recent psychological investigations suggest that this may not be possible. Mark Alfano challenges this theory and asks, not whether character is empirically adequate, but what characters human beings could have and develop. Although psychology suggests that most people do not have robust character traits such as courage, honesty and open-mindedness, Alfano argues that we have reason to attribute these virtues to people because such attributions function as self-fulfilling prophecies – children become more studious if (...)
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  3. Mark Alfano & Brian Robinson (forthcoming). Educating for Intellectual Humility and Other Paradoxical Virtues Requires Epistemic Anti-Individualism. Logos and Episteme.
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  4. Stephen C. Angle (2009). Sagehood: The Contemporary Significance of Neo-Confucian Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    The book's significance is two-fold: it argues for a new stage in the development of contemporary Confucian philosophy, and it demonstrates the value to Western ...
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  5. Barbara Applebaum (2010). Being White, Being Good: White Complicity, White Moral Responsibility, and Social Justice Pedagogy. Lexington Books.
    The book highlights how well-intentioned white people who might even consider themselves as paragons of antiracism might be unwittingly sustaining an unjust system that they say they want to dismantle.
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  6. Augustine (1969). St. Augustine: On Education. Chicago, Regnery.
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  7. Annette Baier (1985). Postures of the Mind: Essays on Mind and Morals. University of Minnesota Press.
    _Postures of the Mind _was first published in 1985. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. Annette Baier develops, in these essays, a posture in philosophy of mind and in ethics that grows out of her reading of Hume and the later Wittgenstein, and that challenges several Kantian or analytic articles of faith. She questions the assumption that intellect has authority over all (...)
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  8. Jennifer Baker (2014). Virtue Ethics and Practical Guidance. Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):297-313.
    In this essay I argue that contemporary accounts of virtue ought to incorporate methods ancient virtue ethicists used in addressing an audience whose members were interested in improving their behavior. Ancient examples of these methods, I argue, model how to represent practical rationality in ethical arguments. They show us that when we argue for virtue we ought to address common claims, refer to moral reasoning as a stepwise process, and focus on norms when making recommendations. Our own ethical arguments will (...)
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  9. David Bakhurst (2005). Particularism and Moral Education. Philosophical Explorations 8 (3):265 – 279.
    Some opponents of ethical particularism complain that particularists cannot give a plausible account of moral education. After considering and rejecting a number of arguments to this conclusion, I focus on the following objection: Particularism, at least in Jonathan Dancy's version, has nothing to say about moral education because it lacks a substantial account of moral competence. By Dancy's own admission, particularists can tell us little more than that a competent agent 'gets things right case by case'. I respond by reflecting (...)
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  10. Robin Barrow (2007). An Introduction to Moral Philosophy and Moral Education. Routledge.
    Integrity : a shared moral value -- Religion, nature and intuition as possible sources of moral truth -- Some distinctions and some mistakes -- Rights and procedures -- Principles that define morality -- Reasons for being moral -- Relativism -- Second order principles -- Moral vs. social, ecological and sexual values -- Moral vs. health and safety values -- Moral questions in education -- The question of moral education -- Forms of moral education.
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  11. Lawrence Blum (1999). Race, Community and Moral Education: Kohlberg and Spielberg as Civic Educators. Journal of Moral Education 28 (2):125-143.
    Literature on moral education has contributed surprisingly little to our understanding of issues of race and education. The creation of inter-racial communities in schools is a particularly vital antiracist educational goal, one for which public support in the United States has weakened since the 1970s. As contexts for antiracist moral education, such communities should involve racially plural groups of students learning about, and engaging in, common aims, some of which must be distinctly antiracist: an explicit concern to institute racially just (...)
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  12. Wayne Booth (1988). The Company We Keep. University of California Press.
    Wayne C. Booth argues for the relocation of ethics to the center of our engagement with literature.
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  13. Jan Bransen (2005). Competences. Philosophical Explorations 8 (3):209 – 215.
  14. Daniel Callcut (2009). Mill, Sentimentalism and the Problem of Moral Authority. Utilitas 21 (1):22-35.
    Mill’s aim in chapter 3 of Utilitarianism is to show that his revisionary moral theory can preserve the kind of authority typically and traditionally associated with moral demands. One of his main targets is the idea that if people come to believe that morality is rooted in human sentiment then they will feel less bound by moral obligation. Chapter 3 emphasizes two claims: (1) The main motivation to ethical action comes from feelings and not from beliefs and (2) Ethical feelings (...)
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  15. Daniel Callcut (2006). The Value of Teaching Moral Skepticism. Teaching Philosophy 29 (3):223-235.
    This article argues that introductory ethics classes can unwittingly create or confirm skeptical views toward morality. Introductory courses frequently include critical discussion of skeptical positions such as moral relativism and psychological egoism as a way to head off this unintended outcome. But this method of forestalling skepticism can have a residual (and unintended) skeptical effect. The problem calls for deeper pedagogical-cum-philosophical engagement with the underlying sources of skepticism. The paper provides examples of how to do this and explains the additional (...)
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  16. David Carr & J. W. Steutel (eds.) (1999). Virtue Ethics and Moral Education. Routledge.
    This book takes a major step in the philosophy of education by moving back past the Enlightenment and reinstating Aristotelian Virtue at the heart of moral education.
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  17. Noël Carroll (2002). The Wheel of Virtue: Art, Literature, and Moral Knowledge. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60 (1):3–26.
    In this essay, then, I would like to address what I believe are the most compelling epistemic arguments against the notion that literature (and art more broadly) can function as an instrument of education and a source of knowledge.
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  18. Noël Carroll (2000). Art and Ethical Criticism: An Overview of Recent Directions of Research. Ethics 110 (2):350-387.
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  19. Michael Cholbi (2013). Ethical Issues in Teaching. International Encyclopedia of Ethics.
    Learning is any process that, by engaging with a person's rational powers, results in an improvement in that person's knowledge, skills, behaviors, or values. Learning can of course occur unaided. Teaching, however, is the deliberate effort to induce learning in another person. The ethics of teaching, then, addresses the ethical standards, values, or traits that govern deliberate efforts to induce learning in others.
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  20. Amy Coplan (2010). Feeling Without Thinking: Lessons From the Ancients on Emotion and Virtue-Acquisition. Metaphilosophy 41 (1):132-151.
    By briefly sketching some important ancient accounts of the connections between psychology and moral education, I hope to illuminate the significance of the contemporary debate on the nature of emotion and to reveal its stakes. I begin the essay with a brief discussion of intellectualism in Socrates and the Stoics, and Plato's and Posidonius's respective attacks against it. Next, I examine the two current leading philosophical accounts of emotion: the cognitive theory and the noncognitive theory. I maintain that the noncognitive (...)
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  21. Paul Crittenden (1990). Learning to Be Moral: Philosophical Thoughts About Moral Development. Humanities Press International.
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  22. Gregory Currie (1995). The Moral Psychology of Fiction. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (2):250 – 259.
    What can we learn from fiction? I argue that we can learn about the consequences of a certain course of action by projecting ourselves, in imagination, into the situation of the fiction's characters.
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  23. Hugh Curtler (1994). Can Virtue Be Taught? Humanitas 7 (1):43-50.
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  24. Michael R. Depaul (1988). Argument and Perception: The Role of Literature in Moral Inquiry. Journal of Philosophy 85 (10):552-565.
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  25. Kyla Ebels-Duggan (2013). Moral Education in the Liberal State. Journal of Practical Ethics 1 (2):34-63.
    I argue that political liberals should not support the monopoly of a single educational approach in state sponsored schools. Instead, they should allow reasonable citizens latitude to choose the worldview in which their own children are educated. I begin by defending a particular conception of political liberalism, and its associated requirement of public reason, against the received interpretation. I argue that the values of respect and civic friendship that motivate the public reason requirement do not support the common demand that (...)
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  26. Steven Fesmire (2012). Ecological Imagination in Moral Education, East and West. Contemporary Pragmatism 9 (1):205-222.
    Relational philosophies developed in classical American pragmatism and the Kyoto School of modern Japanese philosophy suggest aims for greater ecological responsiveness in moral education. To better guide education, we need to know how ecological perception becomes relevant to our deliberations. Our deliberations enlist imagination of a specifically ecological sort when the imaginative structures we use to understand ecosystemic relationships shape our mental simulations and rehearsals. Enriched through cross-cultural dialogue, a finely aware ecological imagination can make the deliberations of the coming (...)
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  27. Paul Formosa (2011). Discipline and Autonomy: The Kantian Link Between Education and Morality. In Klas Roth & Chris Surprenant (eds.), Kant and Education: Interpretations and Commentary. Routledge
    In this paper I argue that Kant develops, in a number of texts, a detailed three stage theory of moral development which resembles the contemporary accounts of moral development defended by Lawrence Kohlberg and John Rawls. The first stage in this process is that of physical education and disciplining, followed by cultivating and civilising, with a third and final stage of moralising. The outcome of this process of moral development is a fully autonomous person. However, Kant’s account of moral development (...)
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  28. Sam Frankel (2012). Children, Morality and Society. Palgrave Macmillan.
    This book explores the extent to which children engage with morality within their everyday lives.
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  29. Stacie Friend (2014). Believing in Stories. In Greg Currie, Matthew Kieran, Aaron Meskin & Jon Robson (eds.), Aesthetics and the Sciences of Mind. Oxford University Press 227-248.
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  30. Peter Gardner (1984). Defending Moral Education. Journal of Moral Education 13 (2):75-82.
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  31. Johannes Giesinger (2012). Respect in Education. Journal of Philosophy of Education 46 (1):100-112.
    This article discusses the educational significance of the moral demand for respect. In Ethics and Education, Richard Peters presents a conception of educational respect that was recently taken up by Krassimir Stojanov. This article responds to both Peters' and Stojanov's contributions and proposes another understanding of educational respect: to respect children is to treat them in a way that enables them to see themselves as persons endowed with dignity; that is, as having the equal standing to make claims on others.
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  32. Johannes Giesinger (2011). Kant's Account of Moral Education. Educational Philosophy and Theory 44 (7):775-786.
    While Kant's pedagogical lectures present an account of moral education, his theory of freedom and morality seems to leave no room for the possibility of an education for freedom and morality. In this paper, it is first shown that Kant's moral philosophy and his educational philosophy are developed within different theoretical paradigms: whereas the former is situated within a transcendentalist framework, the latter relies on a teleological notion of human nature. The second part of this paper demonstrates that the core (...)
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  33. Christiane Gohier & Denis Jeffrey (eds.) (2005). Enseigner Et Former à L'Éthique. Presses de l'Université Laval.
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  34. Morwenna Griffiths (2013). Re-Thinking the Relevance of Philosophy of Education for Educational Policy Making. Educational Philosophy and Theory 46 (5):1-14.
  35. Ishtiyaque Haji (2008). Moral Responsibility, Authenticity, and Education. Routledge.
    Introduction: The metaphysics of responsibility and philosophy of education -- Moral responsibility, authenticity, and the problem of manipulation -- A novel perspective on the problem of authenticity -- Forward-looking authenticity in the internalism/externalism debate -- Authentic education, indoctrination, and moral responsibility -- Moral responsibility, hard incompatibilism, and interpersonal relationships -- On the significance of moral responsibility and love -- Love, commendability, and moral obligation -- Love, determinism, and normative education.
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  36. Marcella Runell Hall (2011). Being White, Being Good: White Complicity, White Moral Responsibility and Social Justice Pedagogy. Journal of Moral Education 40 (4):537-539.
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  37. Katharina Hanel & Ludger Jansen (2001). Reading for the Good Life? In Angela Kallhoff (ed.), Martha C. Nussbaum: Ethics and Political Philosophy: Lecture and Colloquium in Münster 2000. Distributed in North America by Transaction Publishers 4--119.
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  38. R. M. Hare (1998). Essays on Religion and Education. Clarendon Press.
    R. M. Hare, one of the most widely discussed of today's moral philosophers, here presents his most important essays on religion and education, in which he brings together the theoretical and the practical. The main themes of the book are the relations between religion and morality and the question how children can be educated to think for themselves, freely but rationally, about moral questions.
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  39. Zena Hitz (2012). Aristotle on Law and Moral Education. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 42:263-306.
    It is widely agreed that Aristotle holds that the best moral education involves habituation in the proper pleasures of virtuous action. But it is rarely acknowledged that Aristotle repeatedly emphasizes the social and political sources of good habits, and strongly suggests that the correct law‐ordained education in proper pleasures is very rare or non‐existent. A careful look at the Nicomachean Ethics along with parallel discussions in the Eudemian Ethics and Politics suggests that Aristotle divided public moral education or law‐ordained habituation (...)
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  40. Philip J. Ivanhoe (2000). Confucian Moral Self Cultivation, 2nd Ed. Hackett.
    A concise and accessible introduction to the moral philosophy of Kongzi (Confucius), Mengzi (Mencius), Xunzi, Zhu Xi, Wang Yangming, Yan Yuan and Dai Zhen.
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  41. Daniel Jacobson (1996). Sir Philip Sidney's Dilemma: On the Ethical Function of Narrative Art. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 54 (4):327-336.
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  42. Daniela Jeder (2008). From Inframorality to Moral Creativity. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 37:115-122.
    Placing the analyses in an interdisciplinary manner, the present paper fallows to catch and value, form a moral-formative perspective, the interpretations of the ethical theories regarding the evolutions in a moral plan, in order to build a structural model of the morality development levels, with all the complex and dynamiccomponents that this one transmits. We have proposed that this should have as final purpose the transfer and focalization of this data over the significant space of forming the human being as (...)
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  43. Thomas D. Kennedy (2000). Ethics, Evil and Fiction, and Virtue Ethics. Teaching Philosophy 23 (2):203-207.
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  44. Matthew Kieran (1996). Art, Imagination, and the Cultivation of Morals. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 54 (4):337-351.
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  45. James C. Klagge (2001). David Carr and Jan Steutel, Eds., Virtue Ethics and Moral Education:Virtue Ethics and Moral Education. [REVIEW] Ethics 112 (1):139-141.
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  46. Karyn L. Lai (2003). Confucian Moral Cultivation : Some Parallels with Musical Training. In Kim Chong Chong, Sor-Hoon Tan & C. L. Ten (eds.), The Moral Circle and the Self: Chinese and Western Approaches. Open Court
  47. Sharon Lamb (1997). Sex Education as Moral Education: Teaching for Pleasure, About Fantasy, and Against Abuse. Journal of Moral Education 26 (3):301-315.
    Abstract This paper argues for an integration of moral education and sex education curricula. In such an integration, the primary values that would be taught would not be those relating to specific sexual behaviour but those relating to the general treatment of human beings, suggesting that sex that involves coercion or exploitation as well as sex that causes harm is wrong. Sex educators must take as their goal the prevention of abuse, not by placing responsibility on girls to avoid victimisation (...)
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  48. Joshua Landy (2008). A Nation of Madame Bovarys : On the Possibility and Desirability of Moral Improvement Through Fiction. In Garry Hagberg (ed.), Art and Ethical Criticism. Blackwell Pub. 63--94.
    "A Nation of Madame Bovarys" rebuts the notion that literature improves its readers morally, whether: (1) by imparting instruction, (2) by eliciting empathy for nonparochial groups, or (3) by forcibly fine-tuning our capacity to navigate difficult ethical waters. Taking Geoffrey Chaucer’s ’Nun’s Priest’s Tale’ as its test case, it argues that the positions taken by Nussbaum, Booth, Rorty, et al. -- also including the "imaginative resistance" position -- are vastly overblown; that empathy is unreliable as a guide to moral (...)
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  49. Daniel K. Lapsley (1996). Moral Psychology. Westview Press.
    Moral functioning is a defining feature of human personhood and human social life. Moral Psychology provides an integrative and evaluative overview of the theoretical and empirical traditions that have attempted to make sense of moral cognition, prosocial behavior, and the development of virtuous character.This is the first book to integrate a comprehensive review of the psychological literatures with allied traditions in ethics. Moral rationality and decisionmaking; the development of the sense of fairness and justice, and of prosocial dispositions; as well (...)
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  50. Jerrold Levinson (1995). Messages in Art. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (2):184 – 198.
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