For a general overview of Kohlberg's theory, see
Lawrence Kohlberg, Philosophy of Moral Development (San Francisco: Harpers, 1981)
    The general theme of ethical development is the movement from

                ego-centered         to             societally-centered         to         world-inclusive or deep humanity-centered
     The general movement is triadic -- start in the center and call that " X."

   Then we have    Pre-X                                    X                                                Post-or Trans-X

    thus, if we let X= conventional, we will have

                Pre-conventional                        Conventional                                    Post-Conventional

Let us use this way of speaking to talk of Kohlberg's earlier theory.

Kohlberg I -- the earlier version of the theory --

                    Pre-conventional                        Conventional                                    Post-Conventional

                        Me-centered                        We-centered                                        Beyond convention to
                                                                    but in a contentional way                        wider and deeper criteria
                                                          (Wilber's Mythic-membership We?)
                                                            An awareness of conventions

                  (1)               (2)                           (3)                          (4)                              (5)                         (6)
           Immediate   Longer term          Good boy-             Conventional            Primarily             Primarily Kant
        Self-interest     Self-interest        good girl (etc.)        rule-following           utilitarian           (later Rawls)
                                                              role orientation      because this is                                        Later still,
                                                              because this is      what society says                                     Kohlberg
                                                              what people say    you must do to                                        walks away from
                                                              you must do to       be well thought of                                   stage 6 -- saying
                                                               be well thought of    e.g. a good American                           he lacks empirical

        At stage 2, there is the
        start of role-taking.
        Kohlberg calls stage 2 --
        "mutual back-scratching."
        In truth, in these stages,
        the subject is not able
        to understand any
        horizon larger than self


                  Pre-Conventional                       Conventional                           Only with post-conventional
                     indicates those                           indicates  those                            do we arrive at a
                     who genuinely do not                 who do understand                      stage where a person
                     understand anything                    something of roles and                 can critique the
                     bigger than themselves                systems but only in terms              conventional understandings
                                                                       of what people say about             and misunderstandings
                                                                        e.g. being a good son or
                                                                        daughter or
                                                                        being a good American

              The idea is that we start very              Here we try to orient to
                 much under the influence of             a "WE" bigger than "me"
                outside forces                                   but we tend to still internalize
                (reward/punishment;                         outside voices in an uncritical  manner.
                          praise/ blame)
            Then we may learn to make judgments
            on a more intrinsic (nature of things) basis
             regarding our longer-term self-interest

Later, Kohlberg "tightens up the requirements for stages 3 and 4.

Kohlberg II -- the later Kohlberg      Here let X = Societal

            Let's call this the "Pre-societal --- Societal --- Post-or-Trans-societal" Version

            Pre-Societal                                  Societal                                        Post-or-Trans-societal
                Stages                                        Stages                                                         Stage

             Pre-societal awareness        WE-centered Societal                Trans-societal Awareness
                  Orienting to                        Orienting to                                            Orienting to
                                                          something bigger                                     something deeper &
                                                        than myself alone.                                    wider than this or
                                                                                                                              that role or societal
        (1)             (2)                            (3)                   (4)                                                 (5)

Immediate   Longer-term             Ideal                 Ideal                                      Criteria of
Self-interest Self-interest             Role                System                                    Person-in-
                                                   Maintaining       Maintaining                              Community
                                                    & Enhancing      & Enhancing                           or even wider --
                                                     (I-R-M-E)         (I-S-M-E)                                  criteria of
                                                                                                                            wholes and their
Basically as above             Here the yardstick is a whole                             participant-parts
but add not able to see         larger than the individual ego.                          (e.g. web of all life)
social units bigger than        Stage 3 at its best understands                         Contains the resources
self as having worth              ideal role relationships and is                            for cultural critique
in own right.                           committed to maintain and                                and reversal.
to understand any                  perhaps even enhance them.
horizon larger than self         Traditional marriage vow is                                 Of old, Kantian
                                                example of  ideal                                                           and
                                                role relationship.                                                 Utilitarian thinking.
                                                                                                                           Today more ecological
                                                Stage 4 at its best under                                    thinking. Capacities to
                                                -stands ideal system main-                                    go beyond racism,
                                                taining and perhaps                                                    sexism, ageism,
                                                enhancing. Thus, to orient                                           speciesism, etc.
                                                to supporting and enhancing                                In midst of awarness of
                                                Elon (for the sake of all it can be)                       societal awareness, emergence
                                                            is I-S-M-E                                                 of deeper criteria -- e.g. deeper
                                                                                                                               sense of human rights and
                                                                                                                               responsibilities.  UN Declaration
                                                                                                                               of Human Rights.  Extended to
                                                                                                                                UN Earth Charter -- ecological
***************************************** ******************************************************
Commentary on Kohlberg II:

    A major change is how the societal stages are described:

                              Stage 3  = ideal role maintaining and enhancing  (IRME)
                              Stage 4 =  ideal system maintaining and enhancing. (ISME)

         Here, Kohlberg is asking that one orient to a wider and deeper vision of roles and of systems. In these stages, a
          person needs to understand the nature and point of relationships (and of organizations) and
          to commit to them in a new way -- beyond what they can do for me as a skin-encapsulated ego.

        A person begins to understand what conditions are needed to aid relationships and social systems to flourish.

         The motivation or commitment is different; the value criteria center on the intrinsic nature of these enterprises.
        One begins to think of RED&GOLD criteria:  what is good for the whole and fair to its participant parts.

         In the first case -- stage 3,   the whole is the friendship or one-to-one role relationship
                                                                                             seen (from within) in its constructive possibilities.
         In the second case -- stage 4, the whole is the organization
                                                                                            seen (from within) in its constructive possibilities.

        Stages 3 and 4 invite devotion.

        One is not an outside detached spectator but a committed participant within the role relationship
                    and taking responsibility for it.
        One is not a detached spectator but a committed participant within the organization
                    and taking responsibility for it.
        One expands one's own identity to include care for the role relationship or for the organized group (system) that
                    one dwells within.

                    Think  IRME = Ideal Role Maintaining/Enhancing and ISME = Ideal System Maintaining/Enhancing

Note: Kohlberg claims that his stages form a Piagetian sequence;
        1.   Each is a whole -- rather like a WURT
          The sequence of such stages has the properties of
        2.    Invariance -- no skipping
        3.    Hierarchy -- later stages encompass earlier ones -- not vice-versa.
                4.     Relative Universality -- it is to be expected that at least the early stages
                                                  of the sequence will show up cross-culturally.

For Gilligan, see
Carol Gilligan,  In a Different Voice (Harvard University Press, 1982)
Note:  Carol Gilligan was the in-house critic of Kohlberg for a number of years.  Her  ground-breaking book
            gave voice to an original feminist critique of Kohlberg and others as unduly "male-centered."

            Her hypothesis was that women spoke "in a different voice" and their voice was not being heard.
            All too often, "different" was taken as "lesser."   When male development was taken as the norm,
             women were seen as less developed, not just as developed but in a different way.

            Women, she would argue, go through the triadic steps --
                            pre-X,     X     and Post-or-Trans-X.
            Yet they do so with a different orientation and speak their truths in a  different way.

In her book, Carol Gilligan did a chapter wherein she analyzed interviews with women contemplating whether to have an abortion.  She presented her findings in this way.  [Later, she would grow more suspicious of such "stage theories," but for now let us examine how she originally sought to make sense of her research.

        SELF over OTHERS
Ideal is simply Survival

            Here again is a Me-centered view.   Gilligan speaks of a survival mode.
            People come into the picture only insofar as they can help or hurt me.
First Transition: an awareness that this mode can be called "SELFISH"

Ideal of Goodness as Unselfish

        This is an orientation to roles conventionally understood e.g. good wife, good mother, etc.


                            Second Transition: an awareness that being solely for others diminishes oneself
                                    and this can begin to be expressed as envy, resentment, anger, etc.

the search for equality and mutuality

        Here there is an attempt to balance self and others -- seeing that each person needs to have his or her
        needs addressed. A realization that in most difficult situations someone will get hurt.

Orientation to causing the least possible harm.

                Difficult choices often seen as "lesser of two evils" -- not choice between two goods
                        or even choice between a good & bad but both options seem to be bad.
                                    A NO-Win situation. A tragic dimension to life.
Elsewhere in the same book, Carol Gilligan theorized that in the First half of life

Men tend to orient to "agency" -- to law -- ethical problems invoke justice --
                                        what is fair when each is counted as one --
                                       the person is seen as a decontextualized individual.

Women tend to orient to "communion" -- to the concrete and contextual --
                                       to relationships and how to sustain them,
                                                to compassion and care.

Toward Mid-life she noticed a developmental crossover. If men and women had not done this earlier in their lives, then at mid-life the crossover may occur.

                    Men may need to befriend the communion side of life;
                                                    women may need to bring in the agency side of life.
                    If this is accomplished, there is a type of completeness for both.

Both genders can contextualize and both can see the need for fairness and procedures in institutional life; both justice and care are needed in a complete life; both agency and communion are both to be prized.