Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Evolution of Moral Progress – A Biocultural Theory - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

The Evolution of Moral Progress: A Biocultural Theory

Allen Buchanan and Russell Powell


The idea of moral progress played a central role in liberal political thought from the Enlightenment through the nineteenth century but is rarely encountered in moral and political philosophical discourse today. One reason for this is that traditional liberal theorists of moral progress, like their conservative detractors, tended to rely on underevidenced assumptions about human psychology and society. For the first time in history, we are developing robust scientific knowledge about human nature, especially through empirical psychological theories of morality and culture that are informed by ... More

Keywords: moral progress, evolution, inclusivist morality, tribalistic moral response, biocultural theory, human rights

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190868413
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190868413.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Allen Buchanan, author
James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy, Duke University

Russell Powell, author
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Boston University