Lawrence Kohlberg's Six Stages of Moral Reasoning
Plus Carol Gilligan's Orthogonal Axis of Ethical Care

Stage 1: Punishment-avoidance and obedience — Individuals make moral decisions on the basis of what is best for themselves, without regard for the needs or feeling of others. They obey rules only if established by more powerful individuals; they disobey when they can do so without getting caught.

Stage 2: Exchange of favors — Individuals begin to recognize that others also have needs. They may attempt to satisfy the needs of others if their own needs are also met in the process. They continue to define right and wrong primarily in terms of consequences to themselves.

Stage 3: Good boy/good girl — Individuals make moral decisions on the basis of what actions will please others, especially authority figures. They are concerned about maintaining interpersonal relationships through sharing, trust, and loyalty. They now consider someone's intentions in determining innocence or guilt.

Stage 4: Law and order — Individuals look to society as a whole for guidelines concerning what is right or wrong. They perceive rules to be inflexible and believe that it is their "duty" to obey them.

Stage 5: Social Contract — Individuals recognize that rules represent an agreement among many people about appropriate behavior. They recognize that rules are flexible and can be changed if they no longer meet society's needs.

Stage 6: Universal Ethical Principle — Individuals adhere to a small number of abstract, universal principles that transcend specific, concrete rules. They answer to an inner conscience and may break rules that violate their own ethical principles.

Orthogonal Axis: Ethics of Care — An obligation of care rests on the understanding of relationships as a response to another in terms of their special needs. Focuses on the moral value of being empathetic toward those dearly beloved persons with whom we have special and valuable relationships, and the moral importance of responding to such persons as unique individuals with characteristics that require custom-crafted responses to them that we do not normally extend to others.