PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWe tend to think that certain events in recent Western history can be viewed in some important sense as uncontroversially progressive. These include the abolition of slavery as a legally permissible institution, the rise of the Civil Rights movement, and a greater public concern for the well being of animals, among a host of others. We often think that these achievements of Western democracy are not merely social, but somehow importantly and deeply moral achievements which are reflected in our market and political institutions. The aim of this thesis is to vindicate our common-sense beliefs that there can be and that there is moral progress. By investigating moral theory, I aim to show how open-ended nature of reason, the faculty of reason, an objective conception of a person’s interests (what is objectively good for a person), and contention, each contribute to the achievement of moral progress.
Degree ProgramHonors College