Children's Understanding of Rules they Invent Themselves

Journal of Moral Education 28 (2):215-232 (1999)
Children's understanding of rules was investigated by observing 5-, 6- and 7-year-olds engaging in unrestricted joint activity with familiar peers. Initially, all groups collectively regulated themselves by negotiating the invention and alteration of rules, hence demonstrating understanding of the consensual origins, relativity and mutability of their own rules. However, children who later returned to participate in second episodes often imposed their previously invented rules, as if they were unalterable and non-negotiable, on their new partners. This suggested a traditionalist, or conservative, orientation to rules, reminiscent of Piaget's claim that children do not differentiate moral and conventional rules. An explanation of the apparent inconsistency in children sometimes sounding heteronomous and sometimes autonomous is proposed that emphasises the role of social context in the production of discourse about rules. These findings are discussed with reference to those of previous researchers, including the domain theorists, who have asked children only about elders' conventional rules, and hence risked confounding respect for rules with respect for the imposers of rules. Children can say very different things about a rule depending on when, how and by whom it was established and applied
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/030572499103232
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,707
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Erving Goffman (1979). Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 39 (4):601-602.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Nuran Direk (2006). Philosophy for Children in Turkey. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 4:17-21.
John Wilson (1980). Understanding Reasons. Journal of Moral Education 9 (2):110-113.
Alison Gopnik (1997). The Scientist as Child. Philosophy of Science 63 (4):485-514.
Nissim Francez & Roy Dyckhoff (2012). A Note on Harmony. Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (3):613-628.
Adam Cureton (2012). Solidarity and Social Moral Rules. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5):691-706.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

4 ( #424,619 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.