Moral Progress: Between Justification and Innovation

Yearbook for Eastern and Western Philosophy 2019 (4):295-313 (2019)
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Abstract

Current scholarship has widely neglected how moral progress is conceived of in contemporary Chinese moral theory. This article ventures into a first exploration of that topic, restricting itself to one conception of moral progress. Given that no fully-fledged Chinese accounts of moral progress are available, its first goal consists in showing how we can even approach and get a grip on the issue of moral progress in the first place. Having identified a specific conception of moral progress, it secondly sets out to problematize and assess that conception. It will become apparent that the emerging account of moral progress is fraught with a specific tension that threatens to undermine the cogency of the whole account. Instead of abandoning the account altogether, I suggest in the end that we have reason to follow its lead. How it is to be further developed will however not be further elaborated.

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Kantian constructivism in moral theory.John Rawls - 1930 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (9):515-572.
Against Ideal Guidance.David Wiens - 2015 - Journal of Politics 77 (2):433-446.

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