Visiting Weimar and Jena

If there is any one place that plays a crucial role in the development of freedom, emancipation and Bildung in Europe in the decades around 1800, it is the small Duchy of Weimar and Jena under the young Duke Karl August von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach and his mother Duchess Anna Amalia von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel.

Tomas, our friend Karin and I went to Jena and Weimar for a couple of days in order to walk in the footsteps of Wieland, Herder, Goethe, Schiller, Humboldt, Hegel, Fichte, and so many other great minds.

Jena from above, a map of the old center of town and yours truly.

The tourist book told us that in Jena, Friedrich Schiller and Wilhelm von Humboldt lived just ten steps from one another. We simply had to check; the houses are not the original but the distance is right:

Ten Steps

In 1806, Napoleon conquered Weimar and Jena; the battle field was between the two cities and Tomas mansplained Napoleon’s winning tactics so well to Karin and me:

What’s left of Napoleon between Weimar and Jena:


In Weimar we went to the Schiller House and Goethe’s mansion.

Schiller’s bedroom in Weimar.



Goethe’s study in Weimar.

And two tourists posing at the feet of Goethe and Schiller (people were better dressed 200 years ago):



Moral Development – Lawrence Kohlberg

First draft, ready for comments

Psychological development in adults has been an academic field since the 1960s. Until then, psychology was mainly about experimental psychology and behaviorism where research focused on studying animals’ and people’s behavior and how to manipulate it, and psychoanalysis where therapy aimed to allow people to find subconscious reasons for their moods, emotions and behaviors etc.

In 1958, Lawrence Kohlberg, who was then studying psychology at the University of Chicago, developed a model of three levels of moral development based on Piaget’s developmental psychology: pre-conventional morality, conventional morality and post-conventional morality. Each of the three levels has two stages. The first moral stage is oriented towards obedience and avoiding punishment (Will I get caught?), the second is instrumental and oriented towards self-interest (Does this serve me?); both of them pre-conventional morality. The third stage is oriented towards interpersonal relations and conformity (living up to social norms), the fourth towards authority and maintaining social order; both are conventional morality. The fifth stage is oriented towards the social contract in general and the sixth towards universal ethical principles; both of them are post-conventional morality and based on a principled conscience. As in Piaget’s developmental psychology, the stages are successive, each stage retains the previous and they become increasingly complex. At later stages, one tends to find the previous stages too simplistic and insufficient, if not flat out immoral.

Beginning in the 1970s and especially since the 1980s, developmental psychology has become an academic field of its own and it has become a useful tool in, among other things, developing school curricula, resocialization of prison inmates, and employee and leadership training. It is expensive when companies have CEOs, middle managers and other employees who are not up to their responsibilities. There are several schools of developmental psychology today, and many of them are speaking of three, four or more levels of personal development.