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Lecture 7


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Charles Helwig

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10-29-2013 October-29-13 1:18 PM Lecture 7: Kohlberg's Theory and Gilligan's Critique Kohl • Process of differentiation • At higher stages, moral judgements become independent o More internalized at higher levels • Defined by abstract concepts • Invariant sequence and form qualitatively different theories about morality • Perspective taking o As you go through higher stages, people's perspective taking becomes more abstract and complex o Similar to Piaget • Structure vs. Content o Like Piaget o Kohlberg: Content refers to particular decision a person makes • Good or bad • Content is the conclusion o Structure is reasoning/justification people use to support the decision they make o Structure and content are initially independent especially at lower stages o At highest level, structure and content tend to converge o What's really important is why you reach your conclusion (the reasoning that supports it) • What Kohlberg was really studying Method • Similar to Piaget o Gave people situations to think about o Looked at decisions they made and reasons they gave • Kohlberg gave them moral dilemmas o People had to reflect on and think what was the right thing to do o No clear answer one way or another that people could agree on o Heinz dilemma o What should the actor in the dilemma do and why? o Since he emphasized underlying structure, reasons were important • Typically 6 dilemmas o Lifeboat o Father breaking promise to son o Euthanasia Probe Questions • Allow interviewer to ask further questions to clarify meaning • Particular reasons for why they were asked • Examples: o Should Heinz have stolen the drug? o Should Heinz be punished for stealing the drug? o Would it be proper to charge the druggist with murder? o Should the druggist be punished? o Would it matter if Heinz's wife was an important person? o Should Heinz steal the drug in order to save the life of a stranger? Preconventional Level • Stage 1: Punishment and Obedience Orientation o Take the perspective of authorities • Fail to distinguish the different perspectives • Right and wrong defined in terms of obedience to authority • Motivation: Deference to superior power  Avoidance of punishment • Kohlberg thought stage 1 kids were more concrete and punishment oriented o More pragmatic orientation rather than moral orientation of heteronomy o Thought Piaget over inflated 3 Stage 1: Examples • Anti-stealing argument o "You shouldn't steal the drug because you'll be caught and sent to jail if you do it." • Pro-stealing argument: o "If you let your wife die, you will…. • Assume you will be punished (either way) o Punishment thinking is the salient part • Importance of distinguishing content and structure o Two very different judgments The Value of Life at Stage 1 • Defined in terms of external attributes and material worth o Similar to Piaget's kids focus on material worth • Define importance in terms of material possessions Preconventional Level • Stage 2: The naïve hedonistic orientation o Awareness of different perspective o Moral rules o "Instrumental hedonism" and concrete reciprocity • "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" • Exchange of favours • Motivation: Maximize one's own pleasure and that of others in instrumental, reciprocal interactions Stage 2: Examples • Pro-stealing o Each person has right to pursue what they want • Anti-stealing o Focus isn't empathy but on whether Heinz won't enjoy life, won't be satisfied o Egoistic, personal need satisfaction • Major moral motivation is individuals maximizing their own pleasure • Instrumental value in satisfying personal needs • Shifts to a more human dimension o Human need is differentiated from material • Doesn't fully consider empathy or justice o It's more instrumental The Conventional Level • Move beyond dyadic distinction and shared social norms o Social group, peer group, group to whom you identify o Taking perspective of the social situation in which the individual participates as most salient • Instead of satisfying basic needs, exist to uphold social order • Noted that there was a lot of moral stereotyping o Good is defined in terms of the type of person o Good is someone who upholds norms, bad is someone who doesn't share them Stage 3 Examples • Concern with social approval of others • Motives become very important o If intentions are good/bad o Defined in stereotypical way • Good people and bad people • An act wouldn't be seen as bad if it's done for altruistic motives • Or if done by a good person • Empathy filtered through shared social expectations through the group with which one identifies o If you don't, you'll be seen as a bad person by your group Stage 4 • Moves to social systems a whole • Maintaining social order • Considers the broader perspective of society • Moral actions are those that serve to maintain or uphold social order Stage 4 Examples • Focus on chaos if you let everyone break laws o Versus individual punishment • Pro-stealing o Society social institution of marriage o Idea of maintaining the sanctity of that institution o Doesn't necessarily have to be law and social chaos but broader system like marriage • Broader than just a peer group o Does recognize that Heinz is morally wrong • Doing it for a good reason but that also won't absolve him completely • An act is categorically wrong if it violates a social system regardless of the motivation • Other examples of stage 4 o Upholding social system over individual rights or injustice o Susceptibility in stage 4 to prioritize social order over due process and individual rights o e.g., After 9/11 there was a perceived threat to the social system • Human rights of Arabic individuals in US violated • Others think it's ok to violate rights to uphold system • At higher level would be concerned at violating human rights • Problem doesn't generate ? For other culture o e.g. Slavery in other cultures • Is that justified for someone's social system that is different • What are obligations for people living in another society? • Is there something universal? The Post-Conventional Level • Morality defined in terms of concepts that are universally valid o No longer equated with specific laws • Stage 5: Social contract/legalistic orientation • Legalistic o Not following the law, but thinking in terms of due process • Legal rules seen as having a rational process o Law making vs. law following (earlier stages) o What are the best laws if I was thinking of making the most just law? o What is the real purpose behind the law in terms of justice fairness? • Laws are arbitrary social constructs that serve principles of justice • Laws based on social consensus or contract o In utilitarian fashion, greatest good for greatest number o Laws could be judged form this perspective as unfair • May need to be changed if there's an ethically valid reason • Distinction between stage 4 and 5 o Stage 4 would focus on threat to society if you let a defendant go (in a court case) • Better to keep them locked up instead of following due process o Stage 5 would say that following due process works and we have to uphold these principles in order to have a fair trial • Procedures have to be upheld to protect everyone (especially those who are minorities, etc. and are at greater risk for being treated unfairly) Stage 5: Examples • Pro o Person is concerned with reason behind law and recognizes this is an unusual case o Law wasn't meant to violate and individual's right to life • Anti o Have to apply the same procedures to everyone in order to be fair Stage 6 • Self chosen ethical principles o Doesn't mean you can pick and choose o They're a part of your conscience, not under control of your social syst
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