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Related to meliorism: meliorist


 (mēl′yə-rĭz′əm, mē′lē-ə-)
1. The belief that the human condition can be improved through concerted effort.
2. The belief that there is an inherent tendency toward progress or improvement in the human condition.

[Latin melior, better; see mel- in Indo-European roots + -ism.]

mel′io·rist n.
mel′io·ris′tic adj.


(Philosophy) the notion that the world can be improved by human effort
[C19: from Latin melior better]
ˈmeliorist adj, n
ˌmelioˈristic adj


(ˈmil yəˌrɪz əm, ˈmi li ə-)

the doctrine that the world tends to become better or may be made better by human effort.
[1855–60; < Latin melior better + -ism]
mel′io•rist, n., adj.


the doctrine that the world tends to become better of itself, or that it may improve more rapidly by proper human assistance. Cf. optimism, pessimism.meliorist, n.melioristic, adj.
See also: Philosophy
the doctrine that the world tends to get better or may be made better by human effort. — meliorist, n., adj. — melioristic, adj.
See also: Improvement
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.meliorism - the belief that the world can be made better by human effortmeliorism - the belief that the world can be made better by human effort
belief - any cognitive content held as true
References in periodicals archive ?
Beginning with the Spanish American War, that civil religion inspired the "Progressive imperialism of the Teddy Roosevelt sort; Wilsonianism or liberal internationalism; Cold War containment; and global meliorism.
Progressives were divided into those who saw progressivism through the lens of "child study and development," those who were interested in promoting "social efficiency and industrial order," and those whose primary concern was "social meliorism and cooperation.
In the 1957 edition of The President: Office and Powers, Corwin offered a backhand compliment to his former student: "Professor Rossiter, whose work on The American Presidency became a classic on publication, teaches, in effect, that the presidency is pervaded with a principle of meliorism that guarantees that it will always be just right.
The alternative, a strict and narrow efficiency view of progress, was a fundamentally immoral one, as The School demonstrated by equating progressivist visions not grounded in social meliorism with Nazism; in the editorial article, the journal's editors argued that civic cooperation, social justice, and intelligent activity were hallmarks of democracy, whereas Nazi society submitted citizens to their rulers as if they were animals to be trained:
The leaders rejected the soft meliorism of more secular activists, the idea that significant progress could be made through consciousness-raising and education campaigns, through consensus and gradual reform.
Throughout the rest of the book, Stroud builds on his reading of Dewey by drawing a link between aesthetic experience and Dewey's corresponding projects of meliorism and growth.
Meliorism is defined as the acceptance of the "existing capitalist-individualist social order", while working within this frame work to correct certain abuses.
He describes the themes of the reforms in terms of specific orientations that interpreted them: active learning in the context of child study and developmental psychology; individualized instruction in terms of social efficiency and industrial order; and connecting schools to contemporary society, in the context of social meliorism, democratic education, and cooperation.
No meliorism resides in the second of these standards as it does in the first.
There was, of course, the other side concerning this issue, namely, the reformers who rejected this application of Darwinian thought in favor of political and social meliorism.
The conflict between optimism and gloom--between a forward-looking, New World meliorism and a much darker, more tragic and backward-looking vision which we might associate with Europe and the past (22)--is a familiar element of an American narrative tradition which owes as much or more to Hawthorne as it does to Emerson, but the Bascombe trilogy replays this long-running conflict in a new and distinctive way.
One potential solution is to regard pluralism and radical empiricism as two different names for the same philosophical position, a metaphysical worldview that entails a pluralistic as opposed to monistic view of the basic "stuff" or substances that compose reality (in other words, ontological pluralism, or the "each-form" view of reality) as well as a commitment to a pluralistic version of pantheism, (27) belief in a finite God, (28) panpsychism, (29) and meliorism.