Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory

2017 Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters

Philosophical Roots of Gilligan-Kohlberg Controversy, The

  • Rauno Huttunen
  • Leena Kakkori
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-588-4_416


 Ethics of care;  Gilligan;  Kant;  Kohlberg;  Philosophy of education;  Theories of moral development

The American psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg (1927–1987) is a modern classic in the fields of moral social psychology and theory of a moral development. His cognitivistic theory of moral development has become a paradigm in the psychology of education. Students of teaching and education in many countries have been taught that there are six universal developmental modes (stages or schemas) of moral thinking, which are an empirical fact verified by Kohlberg and his followers in hundreds of empirical studies. Thus, the Kohlberg theory must be true because it is empirically verified. Nevertheless, one might ask can there be empirical proof on transcendental (philosophical) theory of morality and its development. Jürgen Habermas was the first to note that Kohlberg’s theory of moral stages is a kind of rational reconstruction and that, as such, it cannot be empirically verified or...

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© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TurkuTurkuFinland
  2. 2.University of JyväskylänJyväskylänFinland
  3. 3.University of Eastern FinlandJoensuuFinland