widely used models are The Mechanical Model, The Phylogenetic
Model, and The Genetic Model. The
Mechanical Model sees ethical behavior as derived from and
determined by the outer power utilizing reward, punishment and the principle
of reinforcement. Good moral behavior results from stamped in habit
patterns developed by repeated reward. Bad moral behavior results
failure to reward properly or punish adequately. It is an external model
which in no ways accounts for ethical acts that occur without reward.
And this Mechanical Model excludes the self-concept or inner urgencies
as playing any part in ethical behavior.
Phylogenetic Model sees ethical behavior as bringing together
certain needs in the self and certain socially acceptable actions.
Primary drives are converted into, let us say, secondary
drives. Needs become connected to socially accepted forms of behavior.
This model allows some room for man to be expressive, but it
is weak because it is harnessed, not released moral expressiveness.
Genetic Model, following its psychoanalytic parent, sees moral behavior
arising from infantile and childhood experiences. The problem of producing
moral behavior is the problem of sublimating man’s animalism into
ethical behavior. It sees man only as another animal and sees man
which is fundamentally more similar rather than less similar to other
animals. Such a position may be correct, but certainly Woodworth’s
of behavior primacy over need primacy and Krech and Crutchfield’s
concepts of deficiency and abundancy motivation challenge
the orthodox psychoanalytic genetic model. So too, do the concepts
expressed in the contributions of Lecky, Goldstein, Jung,
and by no means let us not forget MacDougall’s instinct and Allport’s
in his writings on "Becoming" and Bonner (1, p. 409) in
of Personality" offer, a fourth model, The Intentional Model,
more appropriate explanation of ethical behavior. The Intentional
moral choices and discriminations we do not always
act on the basis of social concern, but on the
basis of the capacity to foresee the consequences of our
own acts. The more mature a person’s moral acts,
the more he moves on a plane of future orientation. Moral
habits are not mechanical responses merely, nor
are they largely instrumentalities for the satisfaction of
needs; they are both. But we cannot rest the case of ethical
discrimination on the impelling force of habit, either
instrumental or socially driven. The moral conscience of man
is unique in being basically self-propelled."
Intentional Model seems to explain some aspects of morality better
than do other models, but there may be two problems inherent in it.
First, will the research data existing today support that "the
of ALL men is unique in being basically self-propelled?" This criticism
may be unfair because the quotation above does recognize morality
as partially derived from "habit" and as partially
the satisfaction of needs." But, one must ask: Does this model
moralities may be also reaction formation transformation of some tendencies?
criticism of The Intentional Model is less a criticism and more
an extension of the model as I understand it. It does not appear
Intentional Model, as it has been presented, spells out how
change in a systematic way as man’s intentions systematically reorganize.
Certainly both Allport and Bonner, in other writings, recognize,
possibly more than anyone else, that today’s motivations are not
just a new
reenactment of an old theme. However, it seems that they do not include
development directionality in these changes.
following problem with The Intentional Model may be more crucial,
but, again, one cannot be certain that the criticism to follow is just.
It is difficult to ascertain how the following statement of Bonner (1, p.
409) should be interpreted when one looks at the behavior of Castro
and the condemning behavior of the leaders of the United States. Bonner
times comes in the life of every individual when his
image of himself is a more powerful determinant of his
moral actions than the threatening admonitions of
parent, teacher, clergyman, or politician."
one might add the threatening admonitions of one of nation’s
another nation’s leaders when the former nation sees the latter
behaving in a morally errant fashion. Does this aspect of the The
Model mean that Castro’s purging of Batistaites was moral
his image of himself as the savior of Cuba overrode the admonitions
of so many? Do the proponents of the The Intentional Model
recognize that if Castro were here, he would argue that his
on a plane of future orientation: and that conditions were such, in Cuba,
that any "future oriented" person would see that the moral
thing to do, as
far as the future of Cuba and Cubans is concerned, is to do what our
nation’s leaders have been calling immoral.
above all, this dilemma in The Intentional Model, plus the weakness
of those other models, which lies behind my feeling that some other
model of ethical behavior is needed. Some model is needed which includes
those aspects of morality represented in The Mechanical, The
The Genetic and The Intentional Models. A conception of ethical
behavior is needed which will explain why Castro sees his actions as
morally proper, and one is needed which will at the same time
our nation’s people and our leaders have seen just as honestly his
as morally reprehensible. And may I add one thing: The conception must
not be the time honored worn out and chaotic culturally relativistic
The explanation must be more profound.
adequate conception must explain how two phenomenologically different
individuals, clans, societies or nations can see the same act as moral
and immoral and this explanation must be better than one based on cultural
differences. The question we must ask is: How can we conceive of ethical
behavior so that two groups can see the same act differently without
lost in social relativism? That is, upon which criteria can a model
which will include at least partial solutions to the problems that
been detailed? It appears that a more adequate theory must meet at least
the following criteria.