Some Conceptual Problems in the Cognitive‐Developmental Approach to Morality

Journal of Moral Education 6 (3):147-157 (1977)
Abstract The moral concepts entailed in Kohlberg's cognitive?developmental theory of moral judgment are examined and the underlying meta?ethical position is criticized. While Kohlberg appears to adopt the prescriptivism of Hare in establishing formal criteria for moral judgments, it is shown that in arguing for the moral adequacy of the highest stage he adopts a naturalistic position similar to Rawls and Richards. These writers in turn have claimed empirical support from Kohlberg for the natural sense of justice. It is argued, however, that Kohlberg's theory provides no satisfactory criteria for defining the moral domain; that its basic moral position is inconsistent; that the ultimate justification for the principle of justice is not established; and that the claim to logical necessity for the stage?sequence is not substantiated
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DOI 10.1080/0305724770060301
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John Rawls (2009). A Theory of Justice. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy and Rhetoric. Oxford University Press. pp. 133-135.

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