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Phronesis and the knowledge-action gap in moral psychology and moral education: A new synthesis?

Darnell, C., Gulliford, L., Kristjansson, K. and Paris, P. ORCID: 2019. Phronesis and the knowledge-action gap in moral psychology and moral education: A new synthesis? Human Development 62 (3) , pp. 101-129. 10.1159/000496136

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This article has two aims. First, to offer a critical review of the literatures on two well-known single-component solutions to the problem of a gap between moral knowledge and moral action: moral identity and moral emotions. Second, to take seriously the rising interest in Aristotle-inspired virtue ethics and character development within the social sciences: approaches that seem to assume that the development of phronesis (practical wisdom) bridges the gap in question. Since phronesis is a multicomponent construct, the latter part of this article offers an overview of what those different components would be, as a necessary precursor to operationalising them if the phronesis hypothesis were to be subjected to empirical scrutiny. The idea of a neo-Aristotelian multicomponent solution to the “gappiness problem” invites comparisons with another multicomponent candidate, the neo-Kohlbergian four-component model, with which it shares at least surface similarities. Some space is thus devoted to the proposed theoretical uniqueness of a phronesis-based multicomponent model vis-à-vis the neo-Kohlbergian one. Our main conclusion is that – weaknesses in its developmental psychological grounding notwithstanding – operationalising the phronesis model for the purposes of instrument design and empirical inquiry would be a feasible and potentially productive enterprise

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Karger
ISSN: 0018-716X
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 07:38

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