Journal of Conscious Evolution


Clare W. Graves (1914 – 1986) was a psychologist and visionary who pioneered an evolutionary theory of human values. Based on research concerning differing views of “what is a mature human being,” he developed the idea of a universal progression of value-structures. According to the theory both individuals and societies may be placed in this progression. This paper attempts to summarize Graves’ ideas and his influences on others, while grappling with what I see as some of his theory’s most important problems. Refinements are proposed that bear on the theory as a whole, with a particular focus on how it applies to contemporary postmodernism.