Moral Words and the Moral Notions: A Way of Seeing Moral Goodness in Education

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Joh, Moonam
Issue Date
서울대학교 교육종합연구원
SNU Journal of Education Research, Vol.7, pp. 127-153
moral notionsaccompanying meaningdescriptive meaningevaluative meaningmoral realism
Moral realism can be epistomised by the realist presumption that moral realities exist in the way other things are in the real world and therefore they are observable and describable succinctly by words. If

this is the case, education of morality would not be very different from the education of other subjects on school curriculum. However, analysing and featuring seriously morally concerned words, this study

rejects the realist view of morality and its use of language and, accordingly, suggests a specific view of the features of morality and

construes the nature of language in moral statements. The meanings of the morally concerned words, like 'promise-keeping' in the statement 'promise-keeping is good', are primarily descriptive and secondarily

evaluative. However, the secondary meanings are not conceptually shared by the words; they are accompanied by the words whenever they are used in some particular purposes or contexts. Most of accompanying meanings in moral statements are inarticulate in their

nature; they are rather tacit, because morality is not the objects, like physical or factual things, which are describable clearly by words. Nonetheless, they characterise meaningfully our specific traditions that are constituted through the long process of cultural evolution and

determine our forms of life in a specific way: they are the way of seeing things in moral terms. In this regard, accompanying meanings of words in moral discourse are moral notions with which we see things in terms of morals. Thus, in education, it might be a logical necessity that moral

seeing is possible and moral conversation is meaningful only when one is equipped with moral notions.
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College of Education (사범대학)Center for Educational Research (교육종합연구원)SNU Journal of Education Research (SJER)SNU Journal of Education Research vol.07 (1997)
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