The Forms and Functions of Real‐life Moral Decision‐making

Journal of Moral Education 26 (2):131-145 (1997)
Abstract People rarely make the types of moral judgement evoked by Kohlberg's test when they make moral decisions in their everyday lives. The anticipated consequences of real?life moral decisions, to self and to others, may influence moral choices and the structure of moral reasoning. To understand real?life moral judgement we must attend to its functions, which, although they occasionally involve resolving hypothetical moral dilemmas like those on Kohlberg's test, more often involve promoting good social relations, upholding favourable self?concepts and justifying self?interested behaviour. We argue that a functional model of moral judgement and moral behaviour derived from evolutionary theory may supply a better account of real?life morality than the Kohlbergian model.
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DOI 10.1080/0305724970260202
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