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The Enemy of the Good: Towards a Theory of Moral Progress

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "PROGRESS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 3584 CS

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 1˙500˙000 €
 EC max contribution 1˙500˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2019-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-11-01   to  2024-10-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT NL (UTRECHT) coordinator 1˙500˙000.00


 Project objective

According to the currently dominant account of moral progress, the story of moral progress goes something like this: once, moral recognition used to be the privilege of a select few. Full moral status was only accorded to people of a certain class, age, gender, ethnicity, or religion. Over time, the moral franchise was gradually extended, however imperfectly, to include human beings of all races, creeds, or genders. Eventually, even species membership is recognized as morally irrelevant, and the moral circle is extended towards non-human animals as well. Many influential ethicists call this the “expanding circle” of moral concern. Moral progress, on this account, consists in further expansions of the moral realm beyond ethically arbitrary features. This account, however, faces a serious feasibility problem: our moral concern is limited due to features of our evolved psychology. Empathy is parochial; altruism remains tied to friends and kin. This project will develop an alternative theory of moral progress. By focusing on different forms of moral progress other than the expanding circle, different moral attitudes which are not subject to the same evolutionary constraints, and smart institutions that can bypass the limits of our inherited psychology, it will be shown that the prospects of moral progress have been severely underestimated.

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The information about "PROGRESS" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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