Andres Carlos Luco - A Cultural Evolutionary Theory of Moral Progress

Join Andres Carlos Luco for his presentation, which will be followed by an informal discussion. All are welcome and there is no need to book.

In this essay, I argue that moral progress has resulted from a process of cultural evolution. Moral progress is manifested in the emergence of “inclusivist” moralities which extend moral consideration to all human beings, and even to some non-human entities. Moral progress of this kind can be explained as a population-level effect of individual-level cultural learning mechanisms. These mechanisms operate in a process by which xenophobic and discriminatory moral norms give way to inclusivist moralities. As focal examples of culturally evolved moral progress, I shall discuss the abolition of slavery in the United States and the expansion of women’s rights in countries around the world since the late 19th century.