Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"Paul Morrow"

Titel: The Meaning of Mass Atrocities Beyond Our Moral Fate
Autor: Paul Morrow
Seite: 467-484

Philosophical accounts of moral progress commonly acknowledge the problem of mass atrocities. But the implications of such events for our ability to perceive, and achieve, progress are rarely considered in detail. This paper aims to address this gap. The paper takes as its starting point Allen Buchanan’s evolutionary theory of moral progress in his 2020 book Our Moral Fate. Through critical analysis of Buchanan’s theory, the paper shows that moral philosophers seeking to draw evidence from atrocities must pay closer attention to social scientific research into such crimes, and particularly to findings concerning the diverse motives, intentions, and ideological influences on perpetrators. At the same time, the paper suggests that mass atrocities exhibit the action-guiding influence not only of moral norms, but also of social and legal norms. The paper concludes by briefly considering the significance of mass atrocities for theories of moral progress beyond Our Moral Fate.

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