Can prototypes inform moral developmental theory?

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L. J. Walker and R. C. Pitts (1998) suggest that research on prototypes of moral excellence can lead to important new insights for accounts of moral development that are unlikely to emerge from the efforts of theorists working within psychological or philosophical paradigms. In this commentary, I argue that (a) experts in philosophical and psychological paradigms can and do contribute to revisions of theories of moral excellence, and (b) the study of prototypes has limited value for resolving some important theoretical issues. Three research topics that can be informed by the investigation of prototypes of moral excellence are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-423; discussion 424-425
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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