meliorist


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mel·io·rism

 (mēl′yə-rĭz′əm, mē′lē-ə-)
n.
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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.meliorist - a disputant who advocates reformmeliorist - a disputant who advocates reform  
controversialist, disputant, eristic - a person who disputes; who is good at or enjoys controversy
abolitionist, emancipationist - a reformer who favors abolishing slavery
birth-control campaigner, birth-control reformer - a social reformer who advocates birth control and family planning
Chartist - a 19th century English reformer who advocated better social and economic conditions for working people
civil rights activist, civil rights leader, civil rights worker - a leader of the political movement dedicated to securing equal opportunity for members of minority groups
protester, demonstrator - someone who participates in a public display of group feeling
dry, prohibitionist - a reformer who opposes the use of intoxicating beverages
conservationist, environmentalist - someone who works to protect the environment from destruction or pollution
flower child, hippie, hippy, hipster - someone who rejects the established culture; advocates extreme liberalism in politics and lifestyle
freedom fighter, insurgent, insurrectionist, rebel - a person who takes part in an armed rebellion against the constituted authority (especially in the hope of improving conditions)
activist, militant - a militant reformer
non-resistant, passive resister - a reformer who believes in passive resistance
preservationist - someone who advocates the preservation of historical sites or endangered species or natural areas
Utopian - an idealistic (but usually impractical) social reformer; "a Utopian believes in the ultimate perfectibility of man"
References in periodicals archive ?
While his oeuvre as a whole demonstrates a great love for Britain, he is, in the end, a meliorist, standing firm between two extremes.
But he finds a meliorist solution in a powerful redistributive state such as historically existed, and continues to exist, in his native France--albeit now under threat from the tax and regulatory competition between states that characterizes our new, globalized world.
It is individualist, in that it asserts the moral primacy of the person against the claims of any social collectivity: egalitarian, inasmuch as it confers on all men the same moral status and denies the relevance to legal or political order of differences in moral worth among human beings; universalist, affirming the moral unity of the human species and according a secondary importance to specific historic associations and cultural forms; and meliorist in its affirmation of the corrigibility and improvability of all social institutions and political arrangements.
Despite the divergence in choice of genre, this experimentation situates Lefanu alongside the rational and meliorist empiricism of some of her female forebears, narrowing the alleged gap between a rational approach to children's literature and one that prefers the distinctions of fantasy and fairy tale.
The notion of "social studies," widely adopted in the rhetoric and curricula of schools across Ontario in the 1930s, was intimately connected to the social meliorist orientation toward progressive schooling.
In so doing, Stroud argues that the key to a life well lived can be found in Dewey's revisioning of activity--a revisioning which emphasizes an attentive orientation to the present, the unification of means and ends in our everyday practices, and an emphasis on meliorist projects which culminate in growth.
Here might be his exit from Calvary--one feels a whiff of social engineering here, more of our meliorist time than of Faulkner's, more aligned to our view of diplomas and connections, the kind of thing Oprah herself supports--but he is outraged by this proposition, sees it as anathema.
Baron Georg von Hertling, a parliamentary leader of the Center Party, was the chief spokesman for the meliorist viewpoint.
It was in keeping with the gradualist and meliorist character of the American philosophy that progress would take time.
Following the Enlightenment and the growth of a meliorist, progressive sensibility, the believers in a just war seem inspired by the Virgilian outlook that fate, as well as the violence and unspeakable (infandum) cruelties incarnate in war, can be transcended by the eventual triumph of reason, rational order, and peace, as Anchises described Rome's future to his son Aeneas in the Aeneid: the rulers must remember "to impose the habit of peace, to be merciful to the vanquished, and to overcome the mighty" (Commager 8-9).
Creative Actualization: A Meliorist Theory of Values.
Although Ryan disclaims class mixing as a panacea and asserts that his project is merely meliorist, he forgets that magical thinking takes over on the ground.