chapter  7
20 Pages

COGNITIVE GROWTH AND MORAL DEVELOPMENT: PIAGET AND KOHLBERG

The status of psychoanalytic theory in scientific terms is notoriously problematic, for since its findings in particular cases appear to depend rather heavily on the interpretations and judgements of individual psychoanalysts they do not seem to be readily susceptible of empirical confirmation. All the same, of course, it is quite reasonable to value psychoanalysis as a profound source of psychological insights whilst rejecting the idea that it does have the character and status of an empirical science; we have merely to recognise that there are many important forms of human wisdom and enquiry, expressed, for example, in religion, poetry and fictional literature, which are great sources of moral and psychological insight though they cannot on any account be considered sciences. In fact, the truth may well be that the standard procedures of natural scientific enquiry are not the most promising or fruitful for yielding psychological understanding and insight.