Digest of terms
cognitive moral development
associated especially with the research of Lawrence Kohlberg following the lead of Jean Piaget. Psychological theory that there is a psychogenetic sequence of moral development, common to all human beings and verifiable cross-culturally. The theory is empirically based. Self-determination and autonomy have their ground in the biological given of natural humanity. Just as a child goes through a natural sequence of the development of physical abilities, so s/he does in thinking abilities. There is an evident movement from largely convention-shaped and heteronomously driven thinking towards that of the individual prerogative and ability to think critically.