Q:

How do you define "pre-conventional morality?"

A:

Quick Answer

Pre-conventional morality is the first level of Lawrence Kohlberg's theory of moral development in which people first comprehend fixed rules as behavioral guidelines and then grow to understand that everyone has a unique position in choosing to obey or not obey them. Pre-conventional morality, or the first level of morality, is subdivided into two stages. There are two other levels of the morality theory respectively called conventional and post-conventional morality.

Continue Reading
How do you define "pre-conventional morality?"
Credit: Giorgio Majno Photographer's Choice Getty Images

Full Answer

Kohlberg's theory of conventional morality is a response to moral dilemmas in which there is not always a clear right or wrong. Kohlberg argued that if the reasoning behind an action, regardless of whether the action itself is considered morally right, is sound, then the morals behind it are sound. A common story that Kohlberg used to illustrate his ideals was that of a man whose wife was dying of cancer. The man could not afford a medicine that could potentially cure her. When the creator of the drug refused to bargain for a lower price so that the woman could be saved, the man stole the drug in order to save his wife. Clearly, stealing is wrong. But Kohlberg argued that, in the case of the man and his wife, it was not morally wrong because the man's motivation for stealing was to save his wife.

Learn more about Cultures & Traditions

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is social control theory?

    A:

    Social control theory is the idea that people obey rules and follow laws because that is what is generally accepted by everyone else. People strive to uphold regulations, not because they necessarily agree with them, but because of the principles these decrees represent. Social control theory is commonly used in childhood psychology.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some of the samurai traditions?

    A:

    The samurai had a traditional code called bushido, which included honor, discipline and morality; they lived on a fixed stipend from landowners to support their protective services. The samurai formed the basis of the military traditions and the code of social conduct in Japan.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some postulations of Kohlberg's theory of development?

    A:

    Kohlberg's theory of development posits that during life people go through six levels of moral development, notes Professor Robert N. Barger. The first level, which exists through elementary school for most people, consists of obedience to socially acceptable norms due to the threat or application of punishment for deviation.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is Piaget's theory of moral development?

    A:

    Piaget's theory of moral development describes how children transition from doing right because of the consequences of an authority figure to making right choices due to ideal reciprocity or what is best for the other person. Piaget ties moral development to cognitive development. Piaget published his work in the 1920s, though it took several decades to become prominent.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore