From German Abderitismus, from Abderit (“foolish person”) + -ismus (“-ism”), from Ancient Greek Ἀβδηρῑ́της (Abdērī́tēs, “Abderite”) because of the Abderites’ famed foolishness and stupidity in classical Greece. It is equivalent to Abderite + -ism. The German term was coined by the philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) in Der Streit der Fakultäten (The Conflict of the Faculties, 1798).
- (philosophy) The theory that humanity's morality will never advance beyond its present state.
- 1965, Frank E[dward] Manuel, “Man is a Crooked Stick: Kant and the Debate on Moral Destiny”, in Shapes of Philosophical History (Harry Camp Lectures at Stanford University), Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, OCLC 392288, pages 70–71:
- […] Kant posed the critical problems of historical prediction and, in passing, unwittingly provided us with a convenient framework for an examination of the debate on moral progress in one of its most original forms—the German Enlightenment. He acknowledged three current popular hypotheses with respect to philosophical theory and the future moral nature of man: […] The first he called "moral terrorism," the second "eudaemonism," and the third "abderitism."
- Kant contrasted this theory with both moral terrorism, the theory that human morality is degrading continually towards depravity, and eudaemonism, the theory that human morality continually progresses towards universal happiness.