Felt moral obligation and the moral judgement–moral action gap: toward a phenomenology of moral life

Journal of Moral Education 41 (4):417-435 (2012)
The step-off point for this article is the problem of the ?moral judgement?moral action gap? as found in contemporary literature of moral education and moral development. We argue that this gap, and the conceptual problems encountered by attempts to bridge it, reflects the effect of a different, deeper and more problematic conceptual gap: the ?ontological? gap between meaningful moral events and the underlying natural structures or mechanical processes presumed to produce them. We contend that the very real fact that moral reasoning does not reliably produce moral action consistent with one?s moral reasoning cannot be adequately understood or clarified by appealing to natural structures and mechanical processes. Rather, a radically holistic perspective is required. It is for this reason that we look to an alternative metaphysical grounding for moral behaviour in the work of the French philosopher, Emmanuel Levinas
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DOI 10.1080/03057240.2012.665587
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