November 12, 2005

Piaget-Kohlberg model and Sri Aurobindo

Raghunath, T. Raman
Metaphysics and human development: a study of Aurobindo's theory of human development
- [Hamilton, Ont.], 1993.- xi, 373 leaves ; 28 cm.- NOTES: Thesis (Ph. D.)-McMaster University (Canada); 0197, 1993.- Adviser: E. Simpson.- Includes bibliographical references (leaves 367-373).- DAI, VOL. 55-06A, Page 1583, 00387 Pages.- ISBN: 0-315-88013-9.
ABSTRACT: This dissertation is a study of Aurobindo's theory of human development and its metaphysical foundations. I argue that in accordance with his affirmation of the priority of metaphysics, Aurobindo builds his theory of human development on the basis of his system of metaphysics, and that, therefore, an understanding of his metaphysics is indispensable. I claim that the core of his metaphysics is constituted of seven theories:
  • (1) the theory of Brahman,
  • (2) the theory of the Supermind,
  • (3) the theory of Involution,
  • (4) the theory of Supraphysical Worlds and Beings,
  • (5) the theory of Evolution,
  • (6) the theory of Rebirth, and
  • (7) the theory of Human Nature.

In Part II, I offer a reconstruction of Aurobindo's theory of the stages of human development and his developmental model. I clarify his descriptions of the higher stages of development and provide illustrations of the types of states of consciousness corresponding to them. I also extract his hitherto unrecognised developmental model from his numerous observations on the course of development and compare it with the standard model derived from the work of Piaget and Kohlberg. I argue that Aurobindo' s model is a better model and refer to some recent criticisms of the Piaget-Kohlberg model.

I conclude that although Aurobindo has linked his theory of human development to his metaphysics such that if we accept his metaphysics we are bound to accept the major claims of his theory of human development, the two can be delinked, and that his theory of human development can be evaluated independently of his metaphysics by reference to historical and cross-cultural data on spiritual development.

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