Kohlberg’s argument is based on a naturalistic fallacy, but a defensible one. It is impossible to dream without a comparable or contrastive reality, no matter how shadowy. Morality is more realistic than pure logical thought because it deals with principles that should govern our lives as they ought to be in comparison with principles that govern them as they are, especially if observable behaviour, as they are, differ from how they ought to be. Like Piaget, Kohlberg identified two levels of moral behaviour i.e. the objective and the principled levels. He also identified three levels of general moral development, that is: • • •
the pre-conventional, from age two to seven years, the conventional, from pre-adolescence to late adolescent years, and the post-conventional, from late adolescence onwards.
Unlike Piaget who submitted that moral development evolved as children developed, Kohlberg submitted that internalization of moral principles is consecutive and cumulative i.e. it gets built into the outlook of the child. While Piaget concentrated more on what children do, Kohlberg focused on how they think. Kohlberg’s philosophical assumption was based on his theory of human nature which states thus: The picture of human nature which Kohlberg begins with is that humans are inherently communicative and capable of reason, they also possess a desire to communicate with others and the world around them. The stages of Kohlberg’s model relate to the qualitative moral reasonings adopted by individuals and do not directly translate into praise or blame of any individual’s actions or character. In order to argue that his theory measures moral reasoning and not particular moral conclusions Kohlberg insists that
Published on Sep 1, 2009