Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Critique of Kohlberg’s Claim of Cultural Moral Universality Essay

Critique of Kohlberg’s Claim of Cultural Moral Universality    Introduction As the American Heritage Dictionary plainly states, morality is "a system of ideas of right and wrong conduct" (American Heritage Dictionary 2000). People have been researching the development of this sense of morality for centuries. There is great debate over how a person’s morality is formed and then how to categorize one person’s level of morality compared to others. Most researchers believe that people reach different stages of morality within their lifetimes. The tougher issue is determining what comprises the various stages of morality, which is dependent on what a person’s ideas of right or wrong are to begin with. Therefore in order to establish a set of moral stages, one must clarify what exactly is thought of as right or wrong to a group of people. It has been stated that a person’s sense of morality deals with how he should act as a person, as opposed to acting on the basis of his race, ethnicity or religion. This statement therefore implies that all people should have the same set of morals. People should be concerned with how they should act as people in general and not let other aspects of who they are influence their sense of morality. But in the end this belief has been proven to be false. Different people across the world have contrasting moral reactions, natural responses and thoughts to moral dilemmas. (Fleischacker, 1994, p.8) All people worldwide go through the process of moral reasoning, which has been defined as "a cognitive process by which individuals make decisions about moral issues and justify these decisions, regardless of the context of the issue" (Gardiner, 1998, p.176). But not all of these people come to the s... ...d Corinne Kosmitzki. Lives Across Cultures: Cross-Cultural Human Development. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1998. Kagan, Jerome. The Emergence of Morality in Young Children. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987. Kohlberg, Lawrence. "Moral Stages and Moralization: The Cognitive-Developmental Approach." Moral Development and Behavior. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1976. Kohlberg, Lawrence. The Philosophy of Moral Development. New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1981. Kohlberg, Lawrence. The Psychology of Moral Development. New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1984. Lei, Ting. "Being and Becoming Moral in a Chinese Culture: Unique or Universal?" Cross-Cultural Research, Feb94, Vol. 28 Issue 1, p58. Roopnarine, Jaipaul L. and D. Bruce Carter. Parent-Child Socialization in Diverse Cultures. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation, 1992.

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