Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (1):153-168 (2017)
AbstractThe idea of moral progress is a necessary presupposition of action for beings like us. We must believe that moral progress is possible and that it might have been realized in human experience, if we are to be confident that continued human action can have any morally constructive point. I discuss the implications of this truth for moral psychology. I also show that once we understand the complex nature and the complicated social sources of moral progress, we will appreciate why we cannot construct a plausible comprehensive action-guiding theory of moral progress. Yet while the nature and sources of moral progress consistently thwart many theoretical hopes, the idea of moral progress is a plausible, critically important and morally constructive principle of historical interpretation.
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Citations of this work
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The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations.Robert King Merton - 1973 - University of Chicago Press.