Ethical Objectivism‐Subjectivism: A Neglected Dimension in the Study of Moral Thought∗

Journal of Moral Education 12 (3):192-207 (1983)
Abstract Previous conceptual analyses and empirical research concerning moral development and moral education have almost completely failed to take into account the distinction between objectivist and subjectivist positions on the nature of morality. This paper begins by outlining the essential elements in the two positions and pointing to the significance of the issue for the study of moral thought and for the discussion of moral maturity. Reference is briefly made to problems in current theories arising from the neglect of the distinction. Empirical evidence is then presented in order to document the importance of this factor in moral thought, with special reference to the dominance of the objectivist position and the correlates of objectivism. Evidence on developmental trends in objectivism is discussed, pointing to the need for extension of Piaget's theory. Implications for the ?regression? phenomenon are drawn and the significance of subjectivist views for the problem of moral education is considered. ? This paper collects together and presents in a more compact form some of the themes argued at length in Dimensions of Moral Thought, Sydney, University of New South Wales Press, 1982
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DOI 10.1080/0305724830120308
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David Swanger (1975). Response to Robert Craig. Educational Theory 25 (2):203-205.

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