Meliorism is an idea in metaphysical thinking holding that progress is a real concept leading to an improvement of the world. Metaphysics is the branch of Philosophy investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science It holds that humans can, through their interference with processes that would otherwise be natural, produce an outcome which is an improvement over the aforementioned natural one.
In comparison, one may contrast this concept with that of apologism.
Meliorism, as a conception of the person and society, is at the foundation of contemporary liberal democracy and human rights.
Another important understanding of the meliorist tradition comes from the American Pragmatic tradition. One can read about it in the works of Lester Frank Ward, William James and John Dewey. Lester F Ward ( June 18, 1841 &ndash April 18, 1913) was an American Botanist, Paleontologist, and Sociologist For other people named William James see William James (disambiguation William James (January 11 1842 – August 26 1910 was a pioneering John Dewey (October 20 1859 &ndash June 1 1952 was an American Philosopher, Psychologist, and educational reformer, whose thoughts and ideas have
Meliorism has also been used by Arthur Caplan to describe positions in bioethics that are in favor of ameliorating conditions which cause suffering, even if the conditions have long existed (e. Arthur L Caplan PhD, is Emanuel and Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics and director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. Bioethics is the philosophical study of the ethical controversies brought about by advances in Biology and Medicine. g. being in favor of cures for common diseases, being in favor of serious anti-aging therapies as they are developed).