Department of Political Science / University of Minnesota Duluth / Duluth, MN 55812-2496


218- 726-8162 (office) / 726-7534 (dept) / 726-6386 (FAX) / 724-6833 (home)

1977 Ph.D. Political Science Department, M.I.T.
Dissertation: The Analysis of Power Structures in Three High Schools, Prof. Frederick Frey, Chair (A pretest of quantitative methods for studying social structure in villages of developing societies)
1968 Sc.B. Applied Mathematics Department, Brown University
cum laude; Wayland Scholar; Calculus Prize; William Lowell Putnam National Mathematics Exam Honorable Mention; Sigma Xi



Stephen Chilton Ways of Relating (In preparation)

This book presents an empathy- and neurophysiologically-based ontology of interpersonal morality.  It applies the same schema to intrapersonal authenticity and system-level justice.  The issues considered in this work run from methods of psychological counseling, to the philosophical problem of whether evil exists, to theoretical critiques of positive political theory, to child-raising methods, to the U.S. criminal justice system, etc.—really, too many issues to list.  The main point to be made here is that these disparate topics fit straightforwardly within the empathy-based ontology.

Stephen Chilton (2006) “'Looking the Other in the Eye' as a Guide for Policymaking Public Integrity 8:xx-xx.

“Looking the other in the eye” is a trope that has a moral significance beyond its literary service.  However, to extend it to public policy, i.e., beyond the face-to-face interactions of tightly-knit communities, we must apply it to interactions mediated by institutions and cultural patterns.  Such application requires a careful reformulation of what the trope means, but is nevertheless also useful in that context.  Use of this guide in policymaking is illustrated by applying it to two public policy issues.

Stephen Chilton and Maria Stalzer Wyant Cuzzo (2005) “Habermas’s Theory of Communicative Action As a Theoretical Framework for Mediation Practice Conflict Resolution Quarterly  22 (3, Spring):325-348.

Jürgen Habermas’s theory of communicative action provides a new theoretical ground for mediation and conflict resolution in general.  Beginning from the assumption that all people are in relationship, this article articulates Habermas’s “presuppositions of argumentation”, which can help mediators focus on fundamental elements of conflict resolution.  At impasse, mediators can assist the parties to prepare for litigation by a discussion that derives from Habermas’s ideas of the “conditions of communication”.  Courts and legislatures can use these same ideas to constrain abuses of their authority, and ultimately mediators, in a new opportunity for the field, can help reestablish positive relationships post-outcome.

Stephen Chilton (2002) “Embracing the Dialectical Tension in Authenticity, Morality, and Social Justice” Veritas [Brazil] 47(4, December):505-530.

An overview of the ways of relating perspective, with a brief, exemplary application to the problem of social and official violence in Brazil and elsewhere.

Stephen Chilton (2002) “Situating Postmodernism in Cognitive-developmental Perspective”.  Translated into Portuguese as "Situando o Pósmodernismo na Perspectiva do Desenvolvimento Moral-cognitivo" Civitas [Brazil] 2(2, December):285-292.  A previous version was published (in English) in Revista de filosofia / Review of Philosophy [Argentina] (Spring 2000) [unpaginated, online journal].

Postmodernism’s critique of normative systems is insightful but also subject to reflexive self-negation and consequent political impotence.  This article attempts to both honor and rescue postmodernism by situating it as part of a dialectical structure – Habermas’s “reconstructive science” –  including both construction and deconstruction.  Kohlberg’s sequence of moral reasoning stages is used to organize these various theoretical positions.

Stephen Chilton & Anne Meyer "'Heritable Intelligence': Real & Important - or an Arbitrary Social Construct?" (Chapter 3 in Mal Leicester, Celia Modgil, and Sohan Modgil, eds. Education, Culture and Values - Volume I. Systems of Education: Theories, Policies, and Implicit Values. New York, Falmer Press, 2000, pp. 27-43)

This work shows that the experimental data traditionally used to justify claims about the existence and heritability of intelligence can be predicted by an alternative hypothesis of how human diversity, including cognitive ability, is restricted by a culture, this restriction thereupon being circularly justified by the culture's rewards to people with the approved qualities and its repression of those without.  Since the existing experimental evidence does not distinguish between these two hypotheses, the claim that a meaningful construct of "intelligence" exists (and the claim that it is heritable) cannot be proven without examining the possibility of repression in the society.   This argument would be of only academic interest if it were not for the fact that opponents of the concept of heritable intelligence mistakenly wage an unwinnable war against the experimental data itself.  In the end, I claim, the data must be reinterpreted (subverted), not opposed.

Stephen Chilton "The Good Reviewer"Academe 85(6, November-December 1999):54-55

This short article outlines and clarifies the duties of a good peer reviewer of manuscripts submitted to professional journals.

Stephen Chilton "A Second Moment of Discourse Ethics" in Sônia T. Felipe (ed) Justiça como Eqüidade: Fundamentação e interlocuções polêmicas (Kant, Rawls, Habermas) [Justice As Equality: Foundations and Debates (Kant, Rawls, Habermas)]  (Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil: Editora Insular / Núcleo de Estudos em Éthica e Filosofia Política [Center for Studies in Ethics and Political Philosophy], 1998), pp. 141-153.

Discourse ethics's demand for universal free agreement to norms seems incapable of satisfaction in the real world and has in fact led us to over-rely on the moment of a hypostatized Ideal Speech Situation to produce such agreement. This work proposes to add a new moment to discourse ethics to handle situations where a decision must be made and free agreement is not forthcoming. This second moment shifts our concern with agreement away from the specific norm(s) being considered and toward the underlying Relationship from which discourse ethics arises. This shift in concern brings to light a number of "second-order conditions": normative criteria and sociopolitical practices that enable us to establish norms in a manner consistent with discourse ethics, norms that are just insofar as we have any clear sense of justice.

Stephen Chilton Grounding Political Development (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1991, 135 p.)

Provides the philosophical and analytic framework within which the next-listed work's definition of political development is embedded. This framework encompasses four major issues of social science: how we conceptualize culture; why we require a normatively grounded theory of development; how agreement over disputed concepts can be reached; and how a conception of development can avoid moral imperialism.

Stephen Chilton Defining Political Development (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1988, 135 p.)

Defines political development by applying symbolic interactionism to Lawrence Kohlberg's theory of moral reasoning development, creating a parallel, normatively grounded theory of political development that connects micro to macro analysis. Argues that previous definitions do not satisfy our theoretical expectations.

Stephen Chilton "The Political Practice of Genetic Epistemology: Moral Values and Political Development" Studies in Comparative International Development 25(2, Summer 1990):3-23

Genetic epistemology is sometimes taken by those unfamiliar with it as a justification for a meritocracy of moral reasoning. This is particularly true where genetic epistemology attempts to apply its insights to the construction of the larger social world. However, the political practice of genetic epistemology is really characterized by a concern for maintaining systems permitting free discourse among moral agents.

Shawn Rosenberg, Dana Ward, and Stephen Chilton  Political Reasoning and Cognition:   A Piagetian Approach (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1988, 192 p.)

Employs the genetic epistemology of Jean Piaget both to critique current research traditions (e.g. the belief systems tradition) and to suggest new approaches (e.g. stages of political reasoning; a theory of political development). Advocates a re-examination of political science's epistemological foundation.

Stephen Chilton "Defining Political Culture" (1988)  Western Political Quarterly 41 (3, Sept):419-445.

Lists nine theoretical criteria for conceptualizations of political culture and shows that existing conceptualizations do not meet these criteria. Reworks Lowell Dittmer's"symbol system" definition of political culture in terms of sociomoral reasoning structures, creating a conceptualization of political culture that satisfies all nine criteria.

Stephen Chilton "Any Complete Theory of Social Change Inevitably Incorporates a Normatively Grounded Theory of Moral Choice" Journal of Developing Societies 4(2, July-Oct 1988), pp.135-148.

Because political change and development involve choices among different ways of relating, theories of political change inherently contain theories of moral choice. Political development theories are therefore no more normative than "value-neutral" theories of change, but all must find normative ground. Lawrence Kohlberg's theory of moral reasoning development provides the required grounding.

Stephen Chilton "WEIGHTER" and "PROFILE" (New Jersey Poll, 1975 & 1976)

These are two extensions to SPSS [i.e., computer subroutines], one to establish cell weights when marginal frequencies are known, and the other to tabulate survey items with multiple background items.



  • Rawls's Theory of Justice
  • Modern Social Theory
  • Theories of Revolution
  • The Military in Developing Areas
  • Marx and the Marxian Tradition
  • Kohlberg and the Just Schools Approach


Author:  Stephen Chilton [email]  |  Last Modified:  2006-05-01
Honor Roll  |  UMD  |  Pol Sci Department

The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Copyright © 2004-5 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.