Towards a new paradigm of moral personhood

Journal of Moral Education 37 (3):333-356 (2008)
Moral psychology is between paradigms. Kohlberg's model of moral rationality has proved inadequate in explaining action; yet its augmentation—moral personality—awaits empirical embodiment. This article addresses some critical issues in developing a comprehensive empirical paradigm of moral personhood. Is a first-person or a third-person definition of moral behaviour more appropriate? Is operative moral judgement better understood as deliberative or intuitive? What is the essential nature of the moral self? Two basic constructs of moral personality which have been posited to help span the judgement-action gap—moral centrality and integrity—are critically reviewed and some criteria are proffered for evaluating competing models of moral personhood. Significant directions for future research are noted with the hope of moving the field towards a new paradigm of moral personhood. While the content of this paradigm will differ markedly from Kohlberg's, we contend that the spirit of his enterprise will be manifest with vigour redoubled
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DOI 10.1080/03057240802227494
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