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Moral Development

The basis of sound development: "Moral excellence is of a soul acting as a concordant total, brought to unity." - Plotinus, Enneads 6,9,1

We may foster more or better to escape dwarfing, and preserve and tend to our higher beings well. It often comes down to that, and not just to getting some bounteous harvest outwardly.

It Makes Sense to Talk of Personality Levels

Marring things
The virtue of success is often keeping it by some sound measure.

It cannot be wrong to do what it takes to build a firm and fit character. One's ego is part of the personality. It is the rational (thinking) part of ourself in TA (Transactional Analysis), for example. And it should very work well in the long run to live attuned to our highest parts of conscience. Researchers hold that personality development is the "causative factor" in moral development. It is good to know something about it too, and reflect on it.

In Psychology of Character Development (New York: John Wiley, 1960), Robert F. Peck, Robert J. Havighurst and others discern between moral levels, and think, to repeat, that personality development is the "causative factor" in moral development. They propose there are five types of moral, types which also appear to be levels:

  1. Amoral - going for self-gratification
  2. Expedient - also self-gratifying, but trying to mask it
  3. Irrational conscientious - rule oriented; extremist
  4. Other directed - conforming
  5. Utilitarian - Rational altruistic, considerative, having high regard for others.

Lawrence Kohlberg, who refined and extended Jean Piaget's theory of moral development, discerns quite similarly between:

  1. Preconventional Level
  2. Conventional Level
  3. Post-Conventional, Autonomous, or Principled Level.

On the third level (with sub-groups) one seeks to function according to valid principles independently of the authority of groups and other persons, no matter how prominent. Mere opinions may become binding on this stage, however.

Maslow findings

Over and above the set and unverified opinions one behaves quite in reciprocity with individuals, and they had better be normal. Abraham Maslow has much to say about what marks those who tend to their individual sides.

Acquiring knowledge and systematizing the universe have been considered as . . . for the intelligent person, expressions of self-actualization. Also freedom of inquiry and expression have been discussed as preconditions of satisfaction of the basic needs. [Pusb 23]

Let there be room for curiosity, philosophizing, experimenting - also for budding impulses to know, to explain, and to understand. They can help you on too. A decent community must allow for one's personal growth and growth as an individual (which is different, has uniqueness) and not down any of them. [Pusb 21]

We have very little scientific information about the belongingness need of persons who are torn from their homes and families, friends, neighbors and one's local traditions and ways. Instead of being thoroughly okayed as natives, many functional, enabled parts of oneself seem more or less sacrificed on the altar of urbanisation, which is marked by increasing worsening of many such ties and traditions, or breakdown them. In our society the thwarting of the needs of belongingness and cameraderie can be "the most commonly found core in cases of maladjustment and more severe pathology", along with thwarting of the love needs, Maslow further points out. [Pusb 20-21]

In urban settings our positive emotions need to be gratified and well served. It could have good social effects, as far as the individual is also a citizen. Then, as Maslow says, "even though most people are doomed to wish for what they do not have, it is nevertheless useful to work for greater satisfaction for all." [Pusb 42]

In urban environments our instinctlike, basic need are subject to frustrations, and may therefore require different sorts of special help, even psychotherapeutic ones. And most of all, self- actualization may help interpersonal relations too.

Now there are personality types to talk of too. However, in my opinion it is better to take a look at OCEAN profiles of people (The page is in Norwegian). The OCEAN factors (read: parametres) are the best research personality factors to date, I figure.


Moral development, Peck and Havighurst, L. Kohlberg, Literature  

Moof: Propp, Vladimir. Morphology of the Folktale. Austin: University of Texas, 1968.

Pusb: Maslow, Abraham. Motivation and Personality. 3rd ed. New York, HarperCollins, 1987.

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