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Moral Development and RealityBeyond the Theories of Kohlberg, Hoffman, and Haidt$
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John C. Gibbs

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190878214

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190878214.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 October 2021

Beyond the Theories

Beyond the Theories

A Deeper Reality?

Chapter:
(p.235) 9 Beyond the Theories
Source:
Moral Development and Reality
Author(s):

John C. Gibbs

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190878214.003.0009

This chapter goes beyond Kohlberg’s, Hoffman’s, and Haidt’s theories to consider the question of a deeper reality. As noted, Kohlberg argued that existential thinkers in their soul-searching sometimes come to see their earthly moral life from an inspiring “cosmic perspective.” Perhaps such a reality can be glimpsed not only through existential crises, but also through physically life-threatening ones. Accordingly, this chapter studies cases of persons who have had a so-called near-death experience (“When some people come close to death, they go through a profound experience that may include a sense of leaving the body and entering some other realm or dimension” [Greyson]). A review of the literature—especially, recent medical research literature—suggests that the experience entails a transcendent significance congruent with Kohlberg’s cosmic perspective. In this light, “growing beyond the superficial” and “taking the perspectives of others” take on radical new meaning.

Keywords:   existential crisis, ontology (philosophy), near-death experience, cosmic perspective, death

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