Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"Eva Buddeberg"

Titel: Is There Moral Progress?
Autor: Eva Buddeberg
Seite: 195-203

Post- and decolonial theory have contested the idea of historical progress as a Eurocentric, hegemonic, or neocolonialist misconception. Does this imply that we should give up any idea of moral progress? This paper critically examines Allen Buchanan’s and Russell Powell’s book The Evolution of Moral Progress and their claim that there is still a need for a theory of moral progress. For Buchanan and Powell, such theory should allow and guide a better understanding of what moral progress consists of. Even though they do not claim to already provide us with such a comprehensive theory of moral progress they aim towork outwhether and how certain types of moral progress are possible and assess their limits. In doing so they mainly focus on improvements in terms of social participation as an uncontroversial type of moral progress. In the following, I will first discuss the characteristics of the authors’ notion of progress and then raise some critical concerns about the example they have chosen of the history of human rights as a history of progress and, particularly, about the history of the rights of people with disabilities.

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