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Students' Moral Consciousness Teleology, Deontologyand Pra Ctical Wisdom

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This article explores the moral consciousness of Dutch secondary school students. It focuses on the question how teleological and deontological considerations function in processes of moral decision-making? Do young people especially refer to teleological considerations when asked to pass a moral judgment or to deontological considerations? Or do they refer to both? Analyses of the judgments passed by the students with regard to three bio-medical, moral dilemmas show that especially the latter is the case. In order to arrive at a considered judgment, the students are constantly balancing between the ideal of the good life and the moral norm. In this way, the students' moral reasoning displays what is often referred to as practical wisdom or phronesis. Furthermore, there also appears to be a positive relationship between the students' moral consciousness and certain religious characteristics. But at the level of content this appears to be a very specific relationship. That is to say, religious students especially tend to approach moral problems from a deontological perspective.


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