NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ924344
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-0039-3746
Empathy or Intersubjectivity? Understanding the Origins of Morality in Young Children
Johansson, Eva
Studies in Philosophy and Education, v27 n1 p33-47 Jan 2008
This article is about young children's morality and their concern for others' wellbeing. Questions of what the value of others' wellbeing can signify, how this value becomes visible to children and how it is expressed in their interaction will be posed. In this analysis, children's commitment to others' wellbeing is discussed in terms of two theories, namely the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty's (1962, 1964) theory of intersubjectivity and the psychologist Martin Hoffman's (1984, 1987, 2000) theory of empathy. The interaction between children and adults in pre-school, drawn from different studies of morality (Johansson, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003), constitutes the empirical basis. In the discussion, it is claimed that children's care for others' wellbeing can be understood in a fruitful way as experiences of, approaches to and ways of being involved in the other's life-world rather than as expressions of empathy.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A