About this topic
Summary The "Moral Education" umbrella covers a number of loosely-connected topics that span ethics, aesthetics, cognitive science, and history of philosophy. These topics are connected through their interest in people's acquisition of moral judgment capacities and understanding of moral norms. Ethicists tend to focus on the cultivation of virtues and training for moral discrimination. Aestheticians tend to focus on literature's influence on people's moral capacities. Cognitive scientists tend to focus on the developmental trajectory of moral capacities. Contemporary discussions have their origins in the works of Plato and Aristotle and, to a lesser extent, the works of Confucians and other classical Chinese philosophers.  [NOTE: This subcategory is limited to (mostly) theoretical works done by philosophers, setting aside works in education theory and in applied and sociological studies of moral education. Many of these other works can be found in Journal of Moral Education and the category "Philosophy of Education".]
Key works Nussbaum 1990 illuminates how the study of moral education connects ancient philosophy, virtue ethics, particularism, and aesthetics.
Introductions Carroll 2000 surveys the moral education issues at the intersection of moral psychology and aesthetics. Liao & Gendler 2011 outlines connections between philosophical works on moral persuasion and empirical findings from communication studies and other social sciences.
Related categories
Siblings:See also:History/traditions: Moral Education

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  1. The Moral Instruction of Children.Felix Adler - 1893 - Philosophical Review 2 (1):86-87.
  2. Moral Psychology: An Introduction.Mark Alfano - 2016 - Polity.
    This book provides a rich, systematic, and accessible introduction to moral psychology, aimed at undergraduate philosophy and psychology majors. There are eight chapters, in addition to a short introduction, prospective conclusion, and extensive bibliography. The recipe for each chapter will be: a) to introduce a philosophical topic (e.g., altruism, virtue, preferences, rules) and some prominent positions on it, without assuming prior acquaintance on the part of the reader b) to canvass and explain the relevance of a particular domain of empirical (...)
  3. Character as Moral Fiction.Mark Alfano - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.
    Everyone wants to be virtuous, but recent psychological investigations suggest that this may not be possible. Mark Alfano challenges this theory and asks, not whether character is empirically adequate, but what characters human beings could have and develop. Although psychology suggests that most people do not have robust character traits such as courage, honesty and open-mindedness, Alfano argues that we have reason to attribute these virtues to people because such attributions function as self-fulfilling prophecies - children become more studious if (...)
  4. Sagehood: The Contemporary Significance of Neo-Confucian Philosophy.C. Angle Stephen - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    The book's significance is two-fold: it argues for a new stage in the development of contemporary Confucian philosophy, and it demonstrates the value to Western ...
  5. Being White, Being Good: White Complicity, White Moral Responsibility, and Social Justice Pedagogy.Barbara Applebaum - 2010 - Lexington Books.
    The book highlights how well-intentioned white people who might even consider themselves as paragons of antiracism might be unwittingly sustaining an unjust system that they say they want to dismantle.
  6. St. Augustine: On Education. Augustine - 1969 - Chicago: Regnery.
  7. Postures of the Mind: Essays on Mind and Morals.Annette Baier - 1985 - University of Minnesota Press.
    _Postures of the Mind _was first published in 1985. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. Annette Baier develops, in these essays, a posture in philosophy of mind and in ethics that grows out of her reading of Hume and the later Wittgenstein, and that challenges several Kantian or analytic articles of faith. She questions the assumption that intellect has authority over all (...)
  8. Virtue Ethics and Practical Guidance.Jennifer Baker - 2014 - Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):297-313.
    In this essay I argue that contemporary accounts of virtue ought to incorporate methods ancient virtue ethicists used in addressing an audience whose members were interested in improving their behavior. Ancient examples of these methods, I argue, model how to represent practical rationality in ethical arguments. They show us that when we argue for virtue we ought to address common claims, refer to moral reasoning as a stepwise process, and focus on norms when making recommendations. Our own ethical arguments will (...)
  9. Particularism and Moral Education.David Bakhurst - 2005 - Philosophical Explorations 8 (3):265 – 279.
    Some opponents of ethical particularism complain that particularists cannot give a plausible account of moral education. After considering and rejecting a number of arguments to this conclusion, I focus on the following objection: Particularism, at least in Jonathan Dancy's version, has nothing to say about moral education because it lacks a substantial account of moral competence. By Dancy's own admission, particularists can tell us little more than that a competent agent 'gets things right case by case'. I respond by reflecting (...)
  10. An Introduction to Moral Philosophy and Moral Education.Robin Barrow - 2007 - Routledge.
    Integrity : a shared moral value -- Religion, nature and intuition as possible sources of moral truth -- Some distinctions and some mistakes -- Rights and procedures -- Principles that define morality -- Reasons for being moral -- Relativism -- Second order principles -- Moral vs. social, ecological and sexual values -- Moral vs. health and safety values -- Moral questions in education -- The question of moral education -- Forms of moral education.
  11. Race, Community and Moral Education: Kohlberg and Spielberg as Civic Educators.Lawrence Blum - 1999 - Journal of Moral Education 28 (2):125-143.
    Literature on moral education has contributed surprisingly little to our understanding of issues of race and education. The creation of inter-racial communities in schools is a particularly vital antiracist educational goal, one for which public support in the United States has weakened since the 1970s. As contexts for antiracist moral education, such communities should involve racially plural groups of students learning about, and engaging in, common aims, some of which must be distinctly antiracist: an explicit concern to institute racially just (...)
  12. The Company We Keep.Wayne Booth - 1988 - University of California Press.
    Wayne C. Booth argues for the relocation of ethics to the center of our engagement with literature.
  13. Competences.Jan Bransen - 2005 - Philosophical Explorations 8 (3):209 – 215.
  14. Lucid Education: Resisting Resistance to Inquiry.Gilbert Burgh & Simone Thornton - 2016 - Oxford Review of Education 42 (2):165–177.
    Within the community of inquiry literature, the absence of the notion of genuine doubt is notable in spite of its pragmatic roots in the philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce, for whom the notion was pivotal. We argue for the need to correct this oversight due to the educational significance of genuine doubt—a theoretical and experiential understanding of which can offer insight into the interrelated concepts of wonder, fallibilism, inquiry and prejudice. In order to detail these connections, we reinvigorate the ideas (...)
  15. Mill, Sentimentalism and the Problem of Moral Authority.Daniel Callcut - 2009 - Utilitas 21 (1):22-35.
    Mill’s aim in chapter 3 of Utilitarianism is to show that his revisionary moral theory can preserve the kind of authority typically and traditionally associated with moral demands. One of his main targets is the idea that if people come to believe that morality is rooted in human sentiment then they will feel less bound by moral obligation. Chapter 3 emphasizes two claims: (1) The main motivation to ethical action comes from feelings and not from beliefs and (2) Ethical feelings (...)
  16. The Value of Teaching Moral Skepticism.Daniel Callcut - 2006 - Teaching Philosophy 29 (3):223-235.
    This article argues that introductory ethics classes can unwittingly create or confirm skeptical views toward morality. Introductory courses frequently include critical discussion of skeptical positions such as moral relativism and psychological egoism as a way to head off this unintended outcome. But this method of forestalling skepticism can have a residual (and unintended) skeptical effect. The problem calls for deeper pedagogical-cum-philosophical engagement with the underlying sources of skepticism. The paper provides examples of how to do this and explains the additional (...)
  17. Virtue Ethics and Moral Education.David Carr & J. W. Steutel (eds.) - 1999 - Routledge.
    This book takes a major step in the philosophy of education by moving back past the Enlightenment and reinstating Aristotelian Virtue at the heart of moral education.
  18. The Wheel of Virtue: Art, Literature, and Moral Knowledge.Noël Carroll - 2002 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60 (1):3–26.
    In this essay, then, I would like to address what I believe are the most compelling epistemic arguments against the notion that literature (and art more broadly) can function as an instrument of education and a source of knowledge.
  19. Art and Ethical Criticism: An Overview of Recent Directions of Research.Noël Carroll - 2000 - Ethics 110 (2):350-387.
  20. Ethical Issues in Teaching.Michael Cholbi - 2013 - International Encyclopedia of Ethics.
    Learning is any process that, by engaging with a person's rational powers, results in an improvement in that person's knowledge, skills, behaviors, or values. Learning can of course occur unaided. Teaching, however, is the deliberate effort to induce learning in another person. The ethics of teaching, then, addresses the ethical standards, values, or traits that govern deliberate efforts to induce learning in others.
  21. Empathy in Business Ethics Education.Marc A. Cohen - 2012 - Journal of Business Ethics Education 9:359-375.
    This paper addresses the tactical question of how we ought to proceed in teachingbusiness ethics, taking as a starting point that business ethics should be concerned with cooperative,mutually beneficial outcomes, and in particular with fostering behavior that contributes to thoseoutcomes. This paper suggests that focus on moral reasoning as a tactical outcome—as a way ofachieving behavior in support of cooperative outcomes—is misplaced. Instead, we ought to focuson cultivating empathetic experiences. Intuitively, the problem we need to address in business ethicsis not (...)
  22. Feeling Without Thinking: Lessons From the Ancients on Emotion and Virtue-Acquisition.Amy Coplan - 2010 - Metaphilosophy 41 (1):132-151.
    By briefly sketching some important ancient accounts of the connections between psychology and moral education, I hope to illuminate the significance of the contemporary debate on the nature of emotion and to reveal its stakes. I begin the essay with a brief discussion of intellectualism in Socrates and the Stoics, and Plato's and Posidonius's respective attacks against it. Next, I examine the two current leading philosophical accounts of emotion: the cognitive theory and the noncognitive theory. I maintain that the noncognitive (...)
  23. Learning to Be Moral: Philosophical Thoughts About Moral Development.Paul Crittenden - 1990 - Humanities Press.
  24. Educating Through Exemplars: Alternative Paths to Virtue.Michel Croce & Maria Silvia Vaccarezza - forthcoming - Theory and Research in Education.
    This paper confronts Zagzebski’s exemplarism with the intertwined debates over the conditions of exemplarity and the unity-disunity of the virtues, to show the advantages of a pluralistic exemplar-based approach to moral education (PEBAME). PEBAME is based on a prima facie disunitarist perspective in moral theory, which amounts to admitting both exemplarity in all respects and single-virtue exemplarity. First, we account for the advantages of PEBAME, and we show how two figures in recent Italian history (Giorgio Perlasca and Gino Bartali) satisfy (...)
  25. The Moral Psychology of Fiction.Gregory Currie - 1995 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (2):250 – 259.
    What can we learn from fiction? I argue that we can learn about the consequences of a certain course of action by projecting ourselves, in imagination, into the situation of the fiction's characters.
  26. Can Virtue Be Taught?Hugh Curtler - 1994 - Humanitas 7 (1):43-50.
  27. A Spinozistic Model of Moral Education.Johan Dahlbeck - forthcoming - Studies in Philosophy and Education:1-18.
    Spinoza’s claim that self-preservation is the foundation of virtue makes for the point of departure of this philosophical investigation into what a Spinozistic model of moral education might look like. It is argued that Spinoza’s metaphysics places constraints on moral education insofar as an educational account would be affected by Spinoza’s denial of the objectivity of moral knowledge, his denial of the existence of free will, and of moral responsibility. This article discusses these challenges in some detail, seeking to construe (...)
  28. Argument and Perception: The Role of Literature in Moral Inquiry.Michael R. DePaul - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (10):552-565.
  29. Inculcating Agency.Andrew Divers - 2017 - Childhood and Philosophy 13 (27):253-270.
    The thought that children should be given greater opportunity to participate meaningfully in affairs which concern them and to show their capacity for reasonable measured thoughts and choices has been displayed by many others (COHEN, 1980; FARSON, 1974; KENNEDY, 1992). It has also been suggested than in order to ensure that we are fair to all individuals, regardless of their age, that our primary consideration should be the capacity for decision making and agency. However, whether or not children are indeed (...)
  30. The Self and Its Emotions Kristjan Kristjansson Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010, 288 Pp., $85.00 (Hardcover). [REVIEW]Michael D. Doan - 2010 - Dialogue 49 (4):654-656.
  31. Moral Education in the Liberal State.Kyla Ebels-Duggan - 2013 - Journal of Practical Ethics 1 (2):24-63.
    I argue that political liberals should not support the monopoly of a single educational approach in state sponsored schools. Instead, they should allow reasonable citizens latitude to choose the worldview in which their own children are educated. I begin by defending a particular conception of political liberalism, and its associated requirement of public reason, against the received interpretation. I argue that the values of respect and civic friendship that motivate the public reason requirement do not support the common demand that (...)
  32. Aproximaciones éticas al problema del free rider: consecuencialismo, deontología y ética de la virtud.Alejandro Farieta - 2015 - Discusiones Filosóficas 16 (27):147-161.
    In contemporary ethics, the free rider problem occurs when in a group of people who work for a common aim, someone takes advantage of the collective work and makes a comparatively lower effort than the rest of the group, receiving the same benefits. The problem consists in avoiding this behavior that, intuitively, is considered undesirable. This essay presents an analysis of the problem from three different perspectives in moral education: consequentialism, deontologic proceduralism and virtue ethics. I show the weaknesses of (...)
  33. Ecological Imagination in Moral Education, East and West.Steven Fesmire - 2012 - Contemporary Pragmatism 9 (1):205-222.
    Relational philosophies developed in classical American pragmatism and the Kyoto School of modern Japanese philosophy suggest aims for greater ecological responsiveness in moral education. To better guide education, we need to know how ecological perception becomes relevant to our deliberations. Our deliberations enlist imagination of a specifically ecological sort when the imaginative structures we use to understand ecosystemic relationships shape our mental simulations and rehearsals. Enriched through cross-cultural dialogue, a finely aware ecological imagination can make the deliberations of the coming (...)
  34. Cultivating EcologicaI Imagination.Steven Fesmire - 2005 - Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy/Revue canadienne de philosophie continentale 9 (2):339-352.
  35. John Dewey and Moral Imagination: Pragmatism in Ethics.Steven Fesmire - 2003 - Indiana University Press.
    While examining the important role of imagination in making moral judgments, John Dewey and Moral Imagination focuses new attention on the relationship between American pragmatism and ethics. Steven Fesmire takes up threads of Dewey's thought that have been largely unexplored and elaborates pragmatism's distinctive contribution to understandings of moral experience, inquiry, and judgment. Building on two Deweyan notions—that moral character, belief, and reasoning are part of a social and historical context and that moral deliberation is an imaginative, dramatic rehearsal of (...)
  36. Discipline and Autonomy: The Kantian Link Between Education and Morality.Paul Formosa - 2011 - In Klas Roth & Chris Surprenant (eds.), Kant and Education: Interpretations and Commentary. New York: Routledge.
    In this paper I argue that Kant develops, in a number of texts, a detailed three stage theory of moral development which resembles the contemporary accounts of moral development defended by Lawrence Kohlberg and John Rawls. The first stage in this process is that of physical education and disciplining, followed by cultivating and civilising, with a third and final stage of moralising. The outcome of this process of moral development is a fully autonomous person. However, Kant’s account of moral development (...)
  37. Children, Morality and Society.Sam Frankel - 2012 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    This book explores the extent to which children engage with morality within their everyday lives.
  38. Believing in Stories.Stacie Friend - 2014 - In Greg Currie, Matthew Kieran, Aaron Meskin & Jon Robson (eds.), Aesthetics and the Sciences of Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 227-248.
    Book synopsis: The most debated issue in aesthetics today Written by an international team of leading experts Addresses growing methodological concerns in the field Includes an extensive introduction which illuminates key issues Through much of the twentieth century, philosophical thinking about works of art, design, and other aesthetic products has emphasized intuitive and reflective methods, often tied to the idea that philosophy's business is primarily to analyze concepts. This 'philosophy from the armchair' approach contrasts with methods used by psychologists, sociologists, (...)
  39. Defending Moral Education.Peter Gardner - 1984 - Journal of Moral Education 13 (2):75-82.
  40. Respect in Education.Johannes Giesinger - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 46 (1):100-112.
    This article discusses the educational significance of the moral demand for respect. In Ethics and Education, Richard Peters presents a conception of educational respect that was recently taken up by Krassimir Stojanov. This article responds to both Peters' and Stojanov's contributions and proposes another understanding of educational respect: to respect children is to treat them in a way that enables them to see themselves as persons endowed with dignity; that is, as having the equal standing to make claims on others.
  41. Kant's Account of Moral Education.Johannes Giesinger - 2011 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 44 (7):775-786.
    While Kant's pedagogical lectures present an account of moral education, his theory of freedom and morality seems to leave no room for the possibility of an education for freedom and morality. In this paper, it is first shown that Kant's moral philosophy and his educational philosophy are developed within different theoretical paradigms: whereas the former is situated within a transcendentalist framework, the latter relies on a teleological notion of human nature. The second part of this paper demonstrates that the core (...)
  42. Enseigner Et Former à L'Éthique.Christiane Gohier & Denis Jeffrey (eds.) - 2005 - Presses de l'Université Laval.
  43. Moral Innocence as the Negative Counterpart to Moral Maturity.Zachary J. Goldberg - 2016 - In Carl E. Findley Elizabeth S. Dodd (ed.), Innocence Uncovered: Literary and Theological Perspectives. Routledge. pp. 167-182.
    Establishing a precise definition of moral innocence is a difficult task. Ordinarily philosophers explore the necessary and sufficient conditions of a term or concept in order to determine its meaning. Doing so with “moral innocence” proves difficult because the concept is mutable. The term is used in varying contexts to refer to ignorance, naiveté, sexual inexperience, legal and moral culpability, noncombatants in war, and moral purity. For our present purposes, we can exclude the contexts of law and war because they (...)
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  44. Moral Innocence as Illusion and Inability.Zachary J. Goldberg - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (2):355-366.
    The concept of moral innocence is frequently referenced in popular culture, ordinary language, literature, religious doctrine, and psychology. The morally innocent are often thought to be morally pure, incapable of wrongdoing, ignorant of morality, resistant to sin, or even saintly. In spite of, or perhaps because of this frequency of use the characterization of moral innocence continues to have varying connotations. As a result, the concept is often used without sufficient heed given to some of its most salient attributes, especially (...)
  45. Re-Thinking the Relevance of Philosophy of Education for Educational Policy Making.Morwenna Griffiths - 2013 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 46 (5):1-14.
  46. Moral Responsibility, Authenticity, and Education.Ishtiyaque Haji - 2008 - Routledge.
    Introduction: The metaphysics of responsibility and philosophy of education -- Moral responsibility, authenticity, and the problem of manipulation -- A novel perspective on the problem of authenticity -- Forward-looking authenticity in the internalism/externalism debate -- Authentic education, indoctrination, and moral responsibility -- Moral responsibility, hard incompatibilism, and interpersonal relationships -- On the significance of moral responsibility and love -- Love, commendability, and moral obligation -- Love, determinism, and normative education.
  47. Being White, Being Good: White Complicity, White Moral Responsibility and Social Justice Pedagogy.Marcella Runell Hall - 2011 - Journal of Moral Education 40 (4):537-539.
  48. How Can Neuroscience Contribute to Moral Philosophy, Psychology and Education Based on Aristotelian Virtue Ethics?Hyemin Han - 2016 - International Journal of Ethics Education 1 (2):201-217.
    The present essay discusses the relationship between moral philosophy, psychology and education based on virtue ethics, contemporary neuroscience, and how neuroscientific methods can contribute to studies of moral virtue and character. First, the present essay considers whether the mechanism of moral motivation and developmental model of virtue and character are well supported by neuroscientific evidence. Particularly, it examines whether the evidence provided by neuroscientific studies can support the core argument of virtue ethics, that is, motivational externalism. Second, it discusses how (...)
  49. Cultural Influences on the Neural Correlate of Moral Decision Making Processes.Hyemin Han, Gary H. Glover & Changwoo Jeong - 2014 - Behavioural Brain Research 259:215-228.
    This study compares the neural substrate of moral decision making processes between Korean and American participants. By comparison with Americans, Korean participants showed increased activity in the right putamen associated with socio-intuitive processes and right superior frontal gyrus associated with cognitive control processes under a moral-personal condition, and in the right postcentral sulcus associated with mental calculation in familiar contexts under a moral-impersonal condition. On the other hand, American participants showed a significantly higher degree of activity in the bilateral anterior (...)
  50. Reading for the Good Life?Katharina Hanel & Ludger Jansen - 2001 - In Angela Kallhoff (ed.), Martha C. Nussbaum: Ethics and Political Philosophy: Lecture and Colloquium in Münster 2000. Distributed in North America by Transaction Publishers. pp. 4--119.
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