Kohlberg's PPT - The Payne Page

What would you do?
Kohlberg’s theory of moral
► Lawrence
Kohlberg (1927-1987) was a well
known theorist in the field of moral
development. He posed moral dilemmas
(e.g. Heinz Dilemma) to his subjects and
then asked questions to probe their reasons
for recommending a specific course of
What? Moral Dilemma
► Dilemma:
a problem involving a difficult
choice; often, there is no “clear” or even
desirable solution—whatever you choose will
result in some possible negative
► Moral: of or relating to principles of right or
wrong behavior
play we are about to read, Antigone,
focuses on a moral dilemma. The characters
must make difficult choices and are
motivated by different types of morality.
This will help us to analyze them.
► The
► Partners
► Read
the scenario
► Discuss the dilemma
► Determine what the person should do
► Discuss why that choice is a moral choice
Scenario 1
A woman was near death from a unique kind of cancer.
There is a drug that might save her. The drug costs
The sick woman’s husband, Heinz, went to everyone he
knew to raise money and tried every legal means, but
could only get together $2,000.
He asked the doctor who discovered the drug for a
discount or to let him pay later, but the doctor refused.
Should Heinz break into the laboratory to steal the
drug for his wife? Why / why not?
Scenario 2
► Heinz
broke into the laboratory and stole the drug.
► The next day, the newspapers reported the breakin and theft.
► Brown, a police officer and a friend of Heinz,
remembered seeing Heinz last evening, behaving
suspiciously near the laboratory. Later that night,
he saw Heinz running away from the laboratory.
► Should
Brown report what he saw? Why or
why not?
Scenario 3
► Officer
Brown reported what he saw. Heinz
was arrested and brought to court.
► If convicted by jury, he faces up to two
years in jail.
► Heinz was found guilty.
► Should
the judge sentence Heinz to
prison? Why or why not?
Stages of Moral Development
► Kohlberg
proposed stages of moral
Stage 1 & 2: Selfish Obedience
► 1)
Rules followed to avoid punishment;
obedience and concern for physical
► 2) Doing things for others because it will
result in others doing things in return;
concern for reward, equal sharing and
benefit to self.
Stage 3 & 4: Conforming to
► 3)
Whatever pleases the majority is
considered morally right; other viewpoints
can be seen, conformity is prized, desire to
do things for others.
► 4) Group authority, law, duty and rules of
society prized; concern for maintaining
social order for its own sake; social
disapproval avoided; emphasis on the
inherent 'rightness' of rules and duties.
Stage 5 & 6: Moral Principles Beyond
► 5)
Internal commitment to principles of personal
conscience; concern with individual rights within
standards set by consensus; emphasis on fair
procedures for reaching consensus and for
evaluating principles and rules.
► 6) Concern with universal ethical principles and
abstract morality affecting all beings regardless of
conventional views; emphasis on universality,
consistency, and logical comprehensiveness.
Which stage?
► Read
the explanations for choices Heinz
could make.
► With your partner, determine which stage is
represented by this choice. Explain why you
believe that is the stage.
 A) Heinz should steal the medicine, because
he will be much happier if he saves his wife,
even if he will have to serve a prison
► Stage
2: Self-interest
 B) Heinz should steal the medicine, because
everyone has a right to choose life,
regardless of the law. Or: Heinz should not
steal the medicine, because the scientist has
a right to fair compensation.
► Stage
5: Human Rights
 C) Heinz should not steal the medicine,
because he will consequently be put in
► Stage
1: Obedience
 D) Heinz should not steal the medicine,
because the law prohibits stealing making it
► Stage
4: Law and Order
 E) Heinz should steal the medicine, because
his wife expects it; he wants to be a good
► Stage
3: Conformity
 F) Heinz should steal the medicine, because
saving a human life is a more fundamental
value than the property rights of another
person. Or: Heinz should not steal the
medicine, because others may need the
medicine just as badly, and their lives are
equally significant.
► Stage
6: Universal Human Ethics
► Kohlberg’s
Stages – Explained and Illustrated,”
Blessed to Be a Blessing, Sep 2000, 3 Oct. 2006
► “Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development,”
Austega Gifted Resource Center, 15 Feb 05,
Austega Pty Ltd., 3Oct 06