A Certain and Reasoned Art: The Potential of a Dialogic Process for Moral Education; Aristotelian and Kantian Perspectives

by Butler, Colin James

Abstract (Summary)
At present two options are available that can lead to a determination of how moral education may be possible in practice. One takes its formulation from the work of Kant, the other stands in the tradition of Aristotle. Kant emphasizes the importance of duty mid obligation. In contrast, Aristotle attempts to construct a theory of moral life on the practice of virtue. Both theoretical perspectives have debilitating deficiencies. A spectrum of moral experience is presented that represents the wood opportunities available to the agent in life experience. The polarities of this spectrum pull most naturally towards either an Aristotelian or a Kantian perspective, although neither perspective is capable of addressing the requirements of the entire spectrum. The Aristotelian perspective is associated with the life of non-dilemmic virtue, undertaken in community, where relational realities and the contextual contingency of moral life is emphasized. The Kantian perspective is associated with dilemmic situations to be resolved by a process of moral The central problem of the dissertation acknowledges the antithetical nature of these perspectives, and the dichotomous nature of their philosophical roots. The central task of the dissertation is the establishment of a dialogic process that has the potential to reconcile this dichotomy, and to allow these perspectives to mutually inform and reinforce each other. This task is accomplished by providing responses to a central research question that is accompanied by a series of subsidiary questions. From an analysis of various theories of moral education, Kohlberg's theory of structural developmentalism is chosen for reformulation as it is informed by the exploration of the requirements of the dialogic process. To address the research questions, additional Spectra are offered to provide an epistemological and ontological basis for a five-step dialogic treatment that combines, through a developmental climacteric, the Magistral dialogue of Vvgotsky Socratic dialogue of Bakhtin. The five-step model is comprised of a recursive loop through the four steps of the Magistral dialogue prior to an entrance into a Socratic dialogue. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Walker, Keith D.

School:University of Saskatchewan

School Location:Canada - Saskatchewan

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:dialogically derived morality moral theory dialogic process dialogue in philosophy education immanuel kant 1724 1804 aristotle


Date of Publication:01/01/1999

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.