Moral Theorist

Freud (1961)
  • Believed that the mechanism for right and wrong within the individual is the superego, or conscience. He hypnotized that a child internalizes and adopts the moral standards and character or character traits of the model parent through the process of identification.
  • The strength of the superego depends on the intensity of the child’s feeling of aggression or attachment toward the model parent rather than on the actual standards of the parent.freud
Erikson (1964)
  • Erikson’s theory on the development of virtues or unifying strengths of the “good man” suggests that moral development continuous throughout life. He believed that if the conflicts of each psychosocial developmental stages favorably resolved, then an ‘egostrength” or virtue emerges.

Erikson’s theory on the development

  • Suggested three levels of moral development. He focused on the reason for the making of a decision, not on the morality of the decision itself.
  1. At first level called the premolar or the preconventional level, children are responsive to cultural rules and labels of good and bad, right and wrong. However children interpret these in terms of the physical consequences of the actions, i.e., punishment or reward.
  2. At the second level, the conventional level, the individual is concerned about maintaining the expectations of the family, groups or nation and sees this as right.
  3. At the third level, people make postconventional, autonomous, or principal level. At this level, people make an effort to define valid values and principles without regard to outside authority or to the expectations of others. These involve respect for other human and belief that relationships are based on mutual trust.


Peter (1981)
  • Proposed a concept of rational morality based on principles. Moral development is usually considered to involve three separate components: moral emotion (what one feels), moral judgment (how one reason), and moral behavior (how one act).
  • In addition, Peters believed that the development of character traits or virtues is an essential aspect or moral development. And that virtues or character traits can be learned from others and encouraged by the example of others.
  • Also, Peters believed that some can be described as habits because they are in some sense automatic and therefore are performed habitually, such as politeness, chastity, tidiness, thrift and honesty.
Gilligan (1982)
  • Included the concepts of caring and responsibility. She described three stages in the process of developing an “Ethic of Care” which are as follows.
  1. Caring for oneself.
  2. Caring for others.
  3. Caring for self and others.
  • She believed the human see morality in the integrity of relationships and caring. For women, what is right is taking responsibility for others as self-chosen decision. On the other hand, men consider what is right to be what is just.
Spiritual Theories
Fowler (1979)
  • Described the development of faith. He believed that faith, or the spiritual dimension is a force that gives meaning to a person’s life.
  • He used the term “faith” as a form of knowing a way of being in relation “to an ultimate environment.” To Fowler, faith is a relational phenomenon: it is “an active made-of-being-in-relation to others in which we invest commitment, belief, love, risk and hope.”
development of faith1

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