Summarize Kohlberg and Gilligan’s theories of moral development. Explain how they are similar and how they differ.
Kohlberg’s theory of moral development posits that individuals progress through a series of stages in their moral reasoning and decision-making, moving from a focus on obedience to authority to a universal ethical perspective based on justice and individual rights. Gilligan, on the other hand, argues that traditional moral theories, including Kohlberg’s, are gender-biased and inadequately capture women’s moral reasoning, which is often rooted in care and responsibility for others.
Similarities between the two include their view of moral development as a progression, and their belief that moral reasoning is influenced by social and cultural factors.
The main difference between the two is their focus and perspective. Kohlberg’s theory emphasizes individual rights, justice, and the resolution of moral dilemmas through impartial, universal principles. Gilligan’s theory, in contrast, focuses on the interconnectedness of individuals and the responsibility of individuals to care for one another and the world around them.