Single Idea 5319

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / b. Defining ethics]

Full Idea

Kohlberg's six stages of ethical development are: 1) avoid punishment, 2) obtain rewards, 3) avoid rejection, 4) avoid censure and guilt, 5) recognise contracts, 6) individual conscience.

Gist of Idea

Avoid punishment, then get rewards, avoid rejection, avoid guilt, accept contracts, follow conscience


report of Lawrence Kohlberg (works [1969]) by Edmund O. Wilson - On Human Nature p.166

Book Reference

Wilson,Edward O.: 'On Human Nature' [Penguin 1995], p.166

A Reaction

This doesn't throw much light on philosophical problems, but the order of the six stages is interesting. Beware of oversimplification, because a situation can put pressure on any one of these six aspects of morality.