virtually impossible to analyze on Kohlbergs scale because she never states or

Virtually impossible to analyze on kohlbergs scale

This preview shows page 10 - 13 out of 18 pages.

virtually impossible to analyze on Kohlberg’s scale because she never states or even implies a principle that will yield an answer. Instead, as she imagines herself in Heinz’s shoes, she sees the complexity of the situation and realizes that its solution requires that Heinz and the druggist and Heinz’s wife recognize their involvement in a relationship and that they honor this awareness by working out a solution that will enable them all to survive and, if possible, flourish. 10
Image of page 10
For Jake the solution is cognitive: Heinz merely reasons about the situation and can take action on the basis of that reasoning. Amy sees a real solution as necessarily involving growth in moral sensitivity and commitment. On the basis of such differences in her subjects’ responses, Gilligan posited a moral orientation, which she calls the voice of care, in addition to the justice orientation of Kohlberg. We propose an additional way of assessing the usefulness of the two: How does each voice answers two questions: What are moral agents like? What is the moral standing of persons and communities? The justice voice says that moral agents are or should be 1) isolated, abstract individuals who 2) follow abstract rules 3) in a cool and impartial manner. Moral agents are isolated in the sense that they are both independent of others and free to choose what relationships to have with others. The model of interaction is contractual—an individual as a moral agent chooses to whom s/he will be related and the conditions of the relationship. The individuals involved are abstract in the sense that their moral obligations are specified independently of any of the particular facts about them or about the situations they find themselves in. Their moral obligations are spelled out in abstract rules, rules that are general enough to bind similar cases. In following these general rules, individuals must be cool and impartial. This requires unemotionally applying the rules in the same fashion regardless of the ties of affection and/or enmity that might call on them to be partial. The voice of care, on the other hand, understands moral agents as 1) embedded in particular social contexts, relationships and personal narratives, who 2) direct their moral 11
Image of page 11
attention to real others and 3) are open to sympathetic understanding and identification with those others. In part because the justice voice conceives moral agency in the way it does, it gives the following answer to the question of the moral standing of persons and communities. 1) All persons are equally valuable--hence there are no special obligations to particular others. 2) Communities and relationships have no moral standing on their own account. The care voice, on the other hand, agrees that 1) though all persons are valuable, there are special obligations: those imposed by actual and potential relationships and those imposed by roles. Since it understands communities as more than mere aggregates
Image of page 12
Image of page 13

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 18 pages?

  • Spring '11
  • LBernasconi
  • Ethics, Kohlberg's stages of moral development, Carol Gilligan

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes