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Morality and cooperation are central to human life. Psychological explanations for moral development and cooperative behavior will have biological and evolutionary dimensions, but they can differ radically in their approach to biology. In particular, many recent proposals have pursued the view that aspects of morality are innate. We briefly review and critique two of these claims. In contrast to these nativist assumptions about the role of biology in morality, we present an alternative approach based on a relational developmental systems view of moral development. The role for biology in this approach is in setting up the conditions--the developmental system--in which forms of interaction and later forms of thinking emerge.


Jeremy I M Carpendale, Stuart I Hammond, Sherrie Atwood. A relational developmental systems approach to moral development. Advances in child development and behavior. 2013;45:125-53

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PMID: 23865115

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