Engineering ethics - Kohlberg theory
Engineering ethics tutorial
Ethics of Engineering - Kohlberg Theory
Lawrence Kohlberg was a professor at Harvard University in the early 1970s and was famous for his work on developmental psychology. He conducted numerous studies at the Harvard Center for Moral Development and proposed a theory on moral development which is popularly known as Kohlberg's theory .
His theory of moral development depended on the thinking of the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget and the American philosopher John Dewey . He was also inspired by James Mark Baldwin . These men had emphasized that human beings develop philosophically and psychologically in a progressive way.
Lawrence Kohlberg's Theory
Kohlberg proposed that people make progress in moral reasoning based on their ethical behavior. He postulated this theory based on the thought of jyoung children throughout their period of growth as adults. He explained that young children judge based on the consequences that might arise and older children judge based on their hunches.
He thought that there were six stages of moral development are further classified into three levels . The following illustration shows the different levels.
The process discussed here concerns the judgment made by the thinker about the protagonist in a given situation. The stages of the reflection process show the moral development of the thinker.
This can be understood as the first level of moral thought, which is usually found at the elementary school level. The thinker at this stade tends to think and behave based on direct consequences that might arise. There are two sub-steps to this.
A thinker at this stage usually thinks and believes that the judgment must be rendered according to socially acceptable standards as stated by a senior official (a teacher or a parent). It is childish obedience, in order to avoid punishment.
These reflections are based on the idea that the protagonist should not disobey the law or the rules.
A thinker at this stage shows interest in making decisions based on the rewards they get in return. This second stage is characterized by the idea that good behavior means acting in one's own best interests.
At this point they havetendency to follow the rules of authority because they believe it is necessary to ensure positive relationships and societal order.
This can be understood as the second level of moral thinking, which is usually found at the pr level and high school level. The thinker at this stage tends to think and behave based on wanting to please others . There are two sub-steps to this.
Getting people to like them
At this point, the ideas of the company are taken into account. This level may be where the protagonist behaves because of the moral grounds people decide on for decision making. This decision may or may not support the law Whatever the outcome, the thinking process is based on how to impress others or society.summer and on how to please people around.
Maintain functioning in society
A thinker at this point, considers following the rules for the good of the society. The moral foundations on how people in society will view work done will be the priority, as the thinker believes that a social order is maintained by following the rules.
Therefore, a thinker sticks to the idea that the protagonist should follow moral values. The thinker 's behavior is led by authority while his thinking is in accordance with the social order.
This can be understood as the third level of moral thinking, which is usually found after high school level. The thinker at this stage tends to think and behave with a sense of justice . There are two sub-steps to this.
Reject Rigidity of Laws
At this level, the thinker uses his moral thinking abilities at a commendable rate. He begins to feel the protagonist on the basis of moral reasons. It might also be of the opinion that the rules should be changed according to humanitarian values. The thinker rejects the rigidity of the laws and rules existing at this stage.
Sense of justice
This is the highest stage of moral development where the thinker feels a sense of justice for the protagonist. The thinker has great moral values that he stays away from external factors that could influence his thinking process.
These are the three main sections of moral development proposed by Lawrence Kohlberg. Now let's try to get a detailed idea about this with an example.