for a Model of Ethical Behavior
must not concentrate on some one element and aspect of moral
experience as if
it alone could serve as a standard for
evaluation of the rest. (p. 600)
adequate theory must be truly scientific. It must seek knowledge
of the thing to
be known and not some other thing,
the ethical behavior of man. It must not
experience in order to make it fit previously established
factual science and it must not set up
morality s transcendent and exalted above
as for example, some personís interpretation of Nietzscheís
must include all other conceptions of ethical behavior because
such are some of
the data regarding ethics.
must include the problems of whether things are infinite or
must recognize that certain people do feel that there are right
and wrong ways
must allow one to develop, test and revise hypotheses.
must enable one to describe ethical behavior in some orderly way.
must allow one so systematically examine for and seek explanations
nature and arisal of ethical value systems.
theory presented tries to meet these criteria, though it may not
meet criteria of which others would think. But before we examine it the
reader should know the authorís theoretical position so that we
the theory within the writerís theoretical framework as well as from
within his own.
basic theoretical orientation within psychology is the organismic
position as represented by Goldstein, Lecky, Angyal et. al., wedded
to the personalistic point of view of Stern, G. W. Allport et. al. I do
not react against or deny the validity of the conditioning
various psychoanalytic theorists or any other theoretical position existent
today. The difference is that the latter are seen as the more narrow,
more exclusive of all aspects of human behavior while the
are seen as the more widely encompassing, more inclusive of the
many aspects of human behavior.
I have assumed that ethical behavior, like any other behavior,
grows and changes with time. Like any other growth, it may
progress, regress, fixate or change. It is assumed that there is
of an inherent ethical nature in man which is triggered into
operation as one or another ethical system in one or another form
by certain life circumstances. Also, it assumed that a growth
ethical behavior develops naturally through definable but
overlapping stages be an orderly progression from a less complex to a
more complex stage. And, like any other growth phenomenon, it has
been assumed that there is no assurance once growth starts that
subsequent stages will emerge. Ethical behavior could, like a seed,
grow through all its natural stages to its ultimate mature form or,
like the seed, ethical behavior could become stunted or even reorganize
and take on a form not usually of its nature. Then finally it was
assumed that just as the seed must have favorable living circumstances
to flower fully so to is manís ethical potential limited by the
life circumstances in which the human develops. These assumptions
led to the search for a model which would represent the
phenomenology assumed and the conceptual ways of representing such.