You are here

Moral Development and Reality
Share
Share

Moral Development and Reality
Beyond the Theories of Kohlberg and Hoffman


April 2003 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"It can be confidently ventured that the present work by John Gibbs will be one of the most widely discussed contributions to moral psychology in quite some time . . . The text is quite alive intellectually, a real page-turner for those who are animated by cutting-edge debates in the moral domain. This is a work of accomplished and assured scholarship. It offers the best analysis of the contribution of Kohlberg and Hoffman to moral development theory currently available." - JOURNAL OF MORAL EDUCATION, Feb 13, 2004

"It can be confidently ventured that the present work by John Gibbs will be one of the most widely discussed contributions to moral psychology in quite some time . . . The text is quite alive intellectually, a real page-turner for those who are animated by cutting-edge debates in the moral domain. This is a work of accomplished and assured scholarship. It offers the best analysis of the contribution of Kohlberg and Hoffman to moral development theory currently available."

           -- FROM THE FOREWORD by Daniel K. Lapsley, Chair, Educational Psychology
                                                                                        Department, Ball State University

"There is no one with a better understanding of how to help young people behave in a moral manner than John Gibbs. His EQUIP program, discussed in this book, is among the finest peer treatment programs available for antisocial youth. This book offers a far-reaching analysis of basic processes in moral development, and it should be read by anyone who is interested in the theory and practice of promoting positive behavior in even the most troubled young."

             --William Damon, Director, Stanford Center on Adolescence, Stanford University

"Moral Development and Reality provides a most engaging journey through the terrain of moral and empathic development through the eyes of a seasoned guide. Gibbs's extension and integration of his previous work offers a remarkably fresh, interesting, and provocative study, challenging traditional understandings of moral development."

                                                                  -JOURNAL OF MORAL EDUCATION

Moral Development and Reality: Beyond the Theories of Kohlberg and Hoffman explores the nature of moral development, social behavior, and human interconnectedness. By comparing, contrasting, and going beyond the works of pre-eminent theorists Lawrence Kohlberg and Martin Hoffman, author John C. Gibbs addresses fundamental questions: What is morality? Can we speak validly of moral development? Is the moral motivation of behavior primarily a matter of justice or of empathy? Does moral development, including moments of moral inspiration, reflect a deeper reality?

Useful for promoting classroom debate and academic dialogue, this innovative book examines
  • Fundamental themes of Kohlberg's cognitive developmental approach
  • The recent integration of Hoffman's theory and research on empathy and moral development
  • Moral self-relevance and other variables that account for prosocial behavior
  • The understanding and treatment of antisocial behavior
  • Issues of moral motivation, perception, and reality
Moral Development and Reality elucidates the full range of moral development from superficial perception to a deeper understanding and feeling through social perspective-taking. Providing case studies and chapter questions, Gibbs creates a unique framework for understanding Kohlberg's and Hoffman's influential contributions.

Primarily intended for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in the social and behavioral sciences, counseling, and education, Moral Development and Reality will also appeal to scholars in these disciplines.

Daniel K. Lapsley
Foreword
 
Preface
 
1. Introduction
Social Perspective-Taking and the Moral Point of View

 
The Right and the Good: The Moral Domain

 
Introducing Chapters Two Through Nine

 
 
2. "The Right" and Moral Development: Fundamental Themes of Kohlberg's Cognitive Developmental Approach
Early-Childhood Superficiality

 
Beyond Centrations and Superficial Judgment

 
Stages of Moral Reciprocity

 
Assessing Stages of Immature and Mature Moral Judgment

 
Concluding Comment

 
 
3. Kohlberg's Theory: A Critique and New View
Background

 
Kohlberg's Overhaul of Piaget's Phases

 
Adult Moral Development in Kohlberg's Theory

 
A New View of Lifespan Moral Judgment Development

 
Conclusion

 
 
4. "The Good" and Moral Development: Hoffman's Theory
The Empathic Predisposition

 
Modes of Empathic Arousal

 
Empathy and Cognitive Development: Stages of Empathic Distress

 
The Empathic Predisposition, Cognition, and Affective Primacy

 
The Empathic Predisposition, Socialization, and Moral Internalization

 
Conclusion and Critique

 
 
5. Moral Development, Moral Sef-Relevance, and Prosocial Behavior
Prosocial Behavior: A Rescue

 
Individual Differences in Prosocial Behavior

 
Conclusion: Two Spurious "Moral Exemplars"

 
 
6. Understanding Antisocial Behavior
Limitations of Antisocial Youth

 
A Case Study

 
 
7. Treating Antisocial Behavior
The Mutual Help Approach

 
The Psychoeducational or Skills Training Approach

 
Evaluation of the Equip Program

 
Perspective-Taking for Severe Offenders

 
 
8. Beyond the Theories: A Deeper Reality?
Two Case Studies

 
A Deeper Reality?

 
Moral Insight and Inspiration

 
Conclusion

 
 
9. Conclusion
The Issue of Moral Motivation

 
Moral Perception and Reality

 
 
References
 
Index
 
Appendix
 
About the Author

innovative approach with concise case studies.

Dr Charles Phillips
International College, University of Bridgeport
March 8, 2011
  •  
Key features
  • Reflects an attempt to compare/contrast the theories of Kohlberg and Hoffman and to create a unique integration of their influential ideas.
  • Emphasizes the behavioral applications of these theories to antisocial behavior in two chapters (6 and 7) on understanding and treating antisocial behavior.
  • Chapter questions for discussion are included in an appendix to provide student assignments and/or stir classroom debate.

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.