Imaginative Moral Development
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All of us, aside from the most devout cynics and amoralists, have to figure out how to become better people. Even though I know a good person will be kind to others, actually being kind – kind to this person, right now – can be incredibly difficult. Sometimes even avoiding cruelty can be a tall order. If there is any progress to be made, how are we to understand the process of changing ourselves for the better? This is the central question of moral development.
Though much of our moral development occurs in childhood and many classic works in the area have focused on moral development in this period, it is a lifelong challenge.1 The task of becoming a better person does not end with puberty; it is one we grapple with day after day for our entire lives. Though moral development in childhood raises particular philosophical issues, my discussion here will apply to moral development at any age.
First, I will challenge what is, at least in some circles, the conventional wisdom about how...
KeywordsMoral Development Moral Virtue Dangerous Situation Good Person Virtuous Person
Thanks to Tenzin Norbu Nangsal for helpful discussion of these topics and to John Hacker-Wright and an anonymous referee for very helpful comments.