The essay provides a reconstruction of the argument on moral progress expounded by Kant in §§ 1-7 of the Second Part of The Conflict of the Faculties (An Old Question Raised Again: Is the Human Race Constantly Progressing?). The reconstruction is carried out from a systematic perspective, that is considering the argument within the relationship between nature and freedom as it is developed in previous historical writings (especially in the Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View) and in the Critique of the Power of Judgement. The argument is shown to be the only one that can meet the conditions implied by the "nomothetic of freedom" described in the third Critique (§ 87) and, also, the only one that is able to justify Kant’s thesis, which appeared after the French Revolution, that the institution of the "rightful condition" (Rechtszustand) should necessarily be the result of a moral end. A further confirmation of the relevance of the argument is given by the analysis of the transition from the status naturalis to the status civilis in the Metaphysical First Principles of the Doctrine of Right (§§ 41-42).
Keywords: Kant, moral progress, history, right, moral teleology, The Conflict of the Faculties