Matteo Cresti

The definition of «moral progress». Material vs. formal definitions of «morality»

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The paper aims to analyze the definition of «moral progress». Most of the works in this field are focused on the notion of «progress», but the analysis of this term is not sufficient to convey the concept clearly. Nevertheless, this point received less attention. Explaining the notion of moral progress implies not only the analysis of what «progress» is but also of what «morality» is. After presenting some methodological instances and some of the theories regarding progress, the paper will concentrate on the notion of «morality», namely on Hare’s and Warnock’s theories: the first as an example of a formal method on the definition of «morality», the second as an example of a substantive one. The paper argues in favor of the second. Lastly, a definition of «moral progress» will be proposed.


  • Definition of morality –
  • Definition of progress –
  • R.M. Hare –
  • G.J. Warnock –
  • Metaethics


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