Saturday, March 25, 2017

Moral Development and Reality

Continuing recent posts on morality, I just downloaded a free copy of this book from Moral Development and Reality: Beyond the Theories of Kohlberg, Hoffman and Haidt by John C. Gibbs (Oxford UP, 2014). I'm looking at the section of "conclusion and critique" of Haidt starting on p. 31. Gibbs appreciates that we should account for our earlier human history and more primitive brain centers in describing morality. But to limit it to these structures and history at the expense of later brain structures and evolutionary development is another thing.

"The negative skew in Haidt’s descriptive work discourages study in moral psychology of higher reaches of morality such as rational moral reflection, empathy for the plight of entire out-groups, moral courage, and the cultivation of responsible, mature moral agency —broadly, study of 'the scope of human possibilities, of what people can do morally, if they are prepared, through development and education, to approach life’s important issues in a thoughtful way'” (34).

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