1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Meliorism

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MELIORISM (Lat. melior, better), in philosophy, a term given to that view of the world which believes that at present the sum of good exceeds the sum of evil and that, in the future, good will continually gain upon evil. The term is said to have been invented by George Eliot to express a theory mediating between optimism and pessimism. The pragmatic movement in philosophy which puts stress upon the duty and value of effort is naturally favourable to the melioristic view: the best things that have been said recently in favour of it are found in books such as William James's Pragmatism.