Sociology and Anthropology Vol. 6(3), pp. 330 - 336
DOI: 10.13189/sa.2018.060306
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No Moral Progress without an Objective Moral Ontology

Jaron Daniel Schoone *
Berlage Lyceum, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands


One of the definitions of philosophy is: the study of presuppositions. While many philosophers and scholars agree that human history exhibits moral progress, there seems to be confusion about the presupposed moral ontology that such a view entails. Moral ontology is the sub discipline of ethics which concerns questions such as whether moral facts exist objectively, where 'objective' means that such facts would exist independently from anyone's personal beliefs (mind-independent), or subjectively, where 'subjective' means that such facts depend on the beliefs and/or desires of persons (mind-dependent). This paper concludes that moral progress requires an objective moral ontology. Consecutively, this paper will raise considerable doubts concerning the idea that the objective ontological foundation of moral progress can be natural. On a natural ontological foundation (such as provided by evolutionary ethics) either moral progress appears to be non-objective or it seems to be altogether illusory.

Objectivity, Progress, Ontology, Non-naturalism, Meta-ethics

Cite this paper
Jaron Daniel Schoone . "No Moral Progress without an Objective Moral Ontology." Sociology and Anthropology 6.3 (2018) 330 - 336. doi: 10.13189/sa.2018.060306.