Lawrence Kohlberg first published details of his research on the development of moral judgments in Vita Humana (later titled Human Development). Along with a series of other articles and essays, he greatly influenced research on moral development. He was instrumental in moving the field out of the narrow confines of analyses of psychological mechanisms to inclusion of substantive philosophical definitions of the domain. He persuaded many researchers to take morality seriously as a realm pertaining to people’s thinking about how they ought to relate to each other and how social systems should be organized. Although several aspects of Kohlberg’s theoretical formulations are now not widely accepted, most researchers (though not all) are concerned with combining epistemological considerations with psychological analyses and view children as possessing moral capacities not solely imposed by adults. One of these theoretical perspectives, discussed in this essay, is based on distinctions among social domains. Problems in current research, especially on morality and neuroscience, that fails to attend to epistemological considerations are discussed.

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