Moral Learning and Moral Realism: How Empirical Psychology Illuminates Issues in Moral Ontology

Behavior and Philosophy 27 (1):19 - 49 (1999)
Although scientific naturalistic philosophers have been concerned with the role of scientific psychology in illuminating problems in moral psychology, they have paid less attention to the contributions that it might make to issues of moral ontology. In this paper, I illustrate how findings in moral developmental psychology illuminate and advance the discussion of a long-standing issue in moral ontology, that of moral realism. To do this, I examine Gilbert Harman and Nicholas Sturgeon's discussion of that issue. I contend that their explorations leave the issue unresolved. To break the stalemate, I appeal to empirical psychological findings about moral internalization—the process by which children acquire the capacity to act in terms of moral norms. I contend that these findings illuminate the issue, suggest a way to advance it, and tend to support a moral realist position.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/27759389
 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: 16,661
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
John D. Greenwood (2011). On the Social Dimensions of Moral Psychology. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 41 (4):333-364.
Boran Berčić (2006). Devitt on Moral Realism. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):63-68.
Garrett Cullity (2006). As You Were? Philosophical Explorations 9 (1):117 – 132.
John Woods & Douglas Walton (1975). Moral Expertise. Journal of Moral Education 5 (1):13-18.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

14 ( #184,535 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.