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Amedeo Giorgi

Abstract

The study of the moral sense was neglected for a long time in psychology until recently when Kohlberg, following the work of Piaget, constructed a scale for studying moral judgments. In this article the more scientific and empirical approach to the moral sense is questioned and an argument is made that a qualitative approach would yield more meaningful results. The work of Coles is cited as one example of a qualitative approach, and this article suggests a phenomenological approach. Five brief descriptions describing learning, resentment, decision-making, and the experience of autonomy were used for both analyses of the moral sense and psychological concomitants. The results indicate that the moral sense is a meaning that refers to an "ought" and that the awakening of the moral sense is frequently associated with negative emotions or feelings.

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Amedeo Giorgi

Abstract

In the contemporary scene, psychological researchers seeking alternative (qualitative) research strategies are turning increasingly toward interpretation theory. However, other strategies are also available, and one of these is descriptive science. Descriptive practices as the basis for the clarification of meanings have received less emphasis because of several epistemological assumptions about meaning that have appeared in the literature of interpretive science. Based upon the work of contemporary transcendental philosophers, especially J. N. Mohanty, this article argues that a descriptive scientific perspective can respond to some of the hermeneutic arguments about meaning and that solid findings can be established descriptively. It is argued that both description and interpretation are legitimate but that they are tied to different conditions and interests.

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Amedeo Giorgi

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Amedeo Giorgi

Abstract

In this article the phenomonelogical approach to qualitative research is compared with certain other qualitative approaches following other paradigms. The thesis is that a deepened understanding of phenomenological philosophy can provide the alternative framework that many of these authors have been seeking. The comparison with other approaches is made in terms of theoretical and methodical consistency. Theoretically, the argument is that the situation known as "mixed discourse" exists because practitioners have not sufficiently freed themselves from the criteria and practices of traditional paradigms in which most qualitative researchers have been trained. The shift from the collection of numerical data to linguistic data takes place without appropriate shift in theoretical context. This state of affairs should be overcome in order to strengthen qualitative research. On the other hand, many qualitative researchers carry on practices that seem to be analogous to phenomenological prescriptions which are explicitly usually misunderstood or resisted when stated directly and generically. Thus, greater theoretical clarity and consistency as well as deeper reflection or better utilization of imaginative possibilities still seem to be called for in order to bring better theoretical conceptualization and more consistent practices to qualitative research.