ERIC Number: EJ1024003
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
The Concept of the Moral Domain in Moral Foundations Theory and Cognitive Developmental Theory: Horses for Courses?
Maxwell, Bruce; Beaulac, Guillaume
Journal of Moral Education, v42 n3 p360-382 2013
Moral foundations theory chastises cognitive developmental theory for having foisted on moral psychology a restrictive conception of the moral domain which involves arbitrarily elevating the values of justice and caring. The account of this negative influence on moral psychology, referred to in the moral foundations theory literature as the "great narrowing", involves several interrelated claims concerning the scope of the moral domain construct in cognitive moral developmentalism, the procedure by which it was initially elaborated, its empirical grounds and the influence of this conception of the moral domain on research in moral psychology. Examining these claims in light of key theoretical writings on the moral domain concept in cognitive moral developmentalism, the paper shows that the "great narrowing" narrative is misinformed, superficial and historically inaccurate. On the basis of this critical analysis, we conclude that the primary heuristic value of the "great narrowing narrative" is as a case lesson in the deep specificity of competing conceptions of the moral domain to the theoretical frameworks in which they are devised.
Descriptors: Moral Values, Cognitive Development, Justice, Caring, Heuristics, Theories, Guidelines, Philosophy, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Criticism, Definitions
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Journal Articles
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