Idea of Progress
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upright=1.14, alt=Painting depicting a woman draped in white robes flying westward across the land with settlers and following her on foot, John Gast, ''American Progress'', Progress is the movement towards a refined, improved, or otherwise desired state. In the context of
progressivism Progressivism is a political philosophy in support of social reform. Based on the idea of progress in which advancements in science, technology, economic development and social organization are vital to the improvement of the human condition, ...
, it refers to the proposition that advancements in
technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of Art techniques and materials, techniques, skills, Scientific method, methods, and Business proc ...

technology
,
science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the u ...

science
, and
social organization In sociology, a social organization is a pattern of social relationship, relationships between and among individuals and social groups. Characteristics of social organization can include qualities such as sexual composition, spatiotemporal cohesi ...
have resulted, and by extension will continue to result, in an improved
human condition The human condition is all of the characteristics and key events that compose the essentials of human existence, including birth Birth is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring, also referred to in technical contexts as par ...
; the latter may happen as a result of direct human action, as in
social enterprise A social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to make a positive difference for social benefit. The social impact is funded wholly or partly by reinvesting profits made by the organization to create social capital. Profi ...
or through
activism Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in Social change, social, Political campaign, political, Economics, economic, or Natural environment, environmental reform with the desire to make Social change, changes in so ...
, or as a natural part of
sociocultural evolution Sociocultural evolution, sociocultural evolutionism or cultural evolution are theories of sociobiology and cultural evolution that describe how Society, societies and culture change over time. Whereas sociocultural development traces processes th ...
. The concept of progress was introduced in the early-19th-century
social theories Social theories are analytical frameworks, or paradigms, that are used to study and interpret social phenomenon, social phenomena.Seidman, S., 2016. Contested knowledge: Social theory today. John Wiley & Sons. A tool used by social scientists, soc ...
, especially
social evolution Social evolution may refer to: *Sociocultural evolution Sociocultural evolution, sociocultural evolutionism or cultural evolution are theories of cultural and social evolution that describe how cultures and Society, societies change over time. Wh ...

social evolution
as described by
Auguste Comte Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte (; 19 January 1798 – 5 September 1857) was a French philosophy, French philosopher and writer who formulated the doctrine of positivism. He is often regarded as the first Philosophy of science, phil ...

Auguste Comte
and
Herbert Spencer Herbert Spencer (27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903) was an English philosopher, biologist, anthropologistAn anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans within past and pres ...

Herbert Spencer
. It was present in the
Enlightenment Enlightenment, enlighten or enlightened may refer to: Age of Enlightenment * Age of Enlightenment, period in Western intellectual history from the late 17th to late 18th century, centered in France but also encompassing: ** Midlands Enlightenment ...
's philosophies of history. As a goal, social progress has been advocated by varying realms of political ideologies with different theories on how it is to be achieved.


Measuring progress

Specific indicators for measuring progress can range from economic data, technical innovations, change in the political or legal system, and questions bearing on individual life chances, such as life expectancy and risk of disease and disability.
GDP Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and arms were amputated, in the left corner">174x174px Money is any ...
growth has become a key orientation for politics and is often taken as a key figure to evaluate a politician's performance. However, GDP has a number of flaws that make it a bad measure of progress, especially for developed countries. For example, environmental damage is not taken into account nor is the
sustainability Sustainability is the capacity to endure in a relatively ongoing way across various domains of life. In the 21st century, it refers generally to the capacity for Earth's biosphere and human civilization to co-exist. For many, sustainability is d ...

sustainability
of economic activity. Wikiprogress has been set up to share information on evaluating societal progress. It aims to facilitate the exchange of ideas, initiatives and knowledge
HumanProgress.org
is another online resource that seeks to compile data on different measures of societal progress. Our World in Data is a scientific
online publication Electronic publishing (also referred to as publishing, digital publishing, or online publishing) includes the digital publication of e-book An electronic book, also known as an e-book or eBook, is a book publication made available in Digital da ...
, based at the
University of Oxford , mottoeng = The Lord is my light , established = , endowment = £6.1 billion (including colleges) (2019) , budget = £2.145 billion (2019–20) , chancellor = Chris Patten, The Lord Patten of Barnes , vice_chancellor = Louis ...
, that studies how to make progress against large global problems such as poverty, disease, hunger, climate change, war, existential risks, and inequality. The mission of Our World in Data is to present "research and data to make progress against the world’s largest problems". The
Social Progress Index The ''Social Progress Index'' (''SPI'') measures the extent to which countries provide for the social and environmental needs of their citizens. Fifty-four indicators in the areas of basic human needs, foundations of well-being, and opportunity to ...

Social Progress Index
is a tool developed by the International Organization Imperative Social Progress, which measures the extent to which countries cover social and environmental needs of its citizenry. There are fifty-two indicators in three areas or dimensions: Basic Human Needs, and Foundations of Wellbeing and Opportunities which show the relative performance of nations. Indices that can be used to measure progress include: *
Broad measures of economic progress Although for many decades, it was customary to focus on GDP and other measures of national income, there has been growing interest in developing broad measures of economic well-being. National and international approaches include thBeyond GDPprogr ...
*
Disability-adjusted life year The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) is a measure of overall disease burden, expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death. It was developed in the 1990s as a way of comparing the overall health and life exp ...
*
Green national productThe green national product is an economic metric that seeks to include environmental features such as environmental degradation and resource depletion with a country's national product. Criticism of gross national product The gross national ...
*
Gender-related Development IndexThe Gender Related Development Index (GDI) is an index Index may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Fictional entities * Index (''A Certain Magical Index''), a character in the light novel series ''A Certain Magical Index'' * The Index, an i ...
* Genuine Progress Indicator * Gross National Happiness *
Gross National Well-beingGross National Wellness (GNW) or Well-being is a socioeconomic development and measurement framework. The GNW / GNH Index consists of 7 dimensions: economic, environmental, physical, mental, work, social, and political Politics (from , ) is ...
*
Happy Planet Index The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is an index Index may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Fictional entities * Index (''A Certain Magical Index''), a character in the light novel series ''A Certain Magical Index'' * The Index, an item on a h ...
*
Human Development Index The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average (see below) time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, its current a ...
*
Legatum Prosperity IndexThe Legatum Prosperity Index is an annual ranking developed by the Legatum Institute, a division of the private investment firm Legatum. The ranking is based on a variety of factors including wealth, economic growth Economic growth can be defined ...
*
Social Progress Index The ''Social Progress Index'' (''SPI'') measures the extent to which countries provide for the social and environmental needs of their citizens. Fifty-four indicators in the areas of basic human needs, foundations of well-being, and opportunity to ...

Social Progress Index
*
OECD Better Life IndexThe OECD Better Life Index, created in May 2011 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Économiqu ...
*
Subjective life satisfaction Life satisfaction (LS) is the way in which people show their emotions, feelings (moods) and how they feel about their directions and options for the future The future is the time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of exist ...
*
Where-to-be-born Index The Economist Intelligence Unit The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the research and analysis division of Economist Group providing forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis, such as monthly country reports, five-year ...
* Wikiprogress *
World Happiness Report The World Happiness Report is a publication of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among ...

World Happiness Report
*
World Values Survey The World Values Survey (WVS) is a global research project that explores people's values In ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong acti ...


Scientific progress

Scientific progress is the idea that the scientific community learns more over time, which causes a body of
scientific knowledge Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
to accumulate. The chemists in the 19th century knew less about chemistry than the chemists in the 20th century, and they in turn knew less than the chemists in the 21st century. Looking forward, today's chemists reasonably expect that chemists in future centuries will know more than they do. This process differs from
non-science A non-science is an area of study that is not scientific, especially one that is not a natural science or a social science that is an object of scientific inquiry. In this model, history, art, and religion are all examples of non-sciences. Class ...
fields, such as human languages or history: the people who spoke a now-extinct language, or who lived through a historical time period, can be said to have known different things from the scholars who studied it later, but they cannot be said to know less about their lives than the modern scholars. Some valid knowledge is lost through the passage of time, and other knowledge is gained, with the result that the non-science fields do not make scientific progress towards understanding their subject areas. From the 18th century through late 20th century, the history of science, especially of the physical and biological sciences, was often presented as a progressive accumulation of knowledge, in which true theories replaced false beliefs. Some more recent historical interpretations, such as those of
Thomas Kuhn Thomas Samuel Kuhn (; July 18, 1922 – June 17, 1996) was an American philosopher of science whose 1962 book '' The Structure of Scientific Revolutions'' was influential in both academic and popular circles, introducing the term ''paradigm ...
, tend to portray the history of science in terms of competing paradigms or conceptual systems in a wider matrix of intellectual, cultural, economic and political trends. These interpretations, however, have met with opposition for they also portray the history of science as an incoherent system of incommensurable paradigms, not leading to any scientific progress, but only to the illusion of progress.


Social progress

Aspects of social progress, as described by
Condorcet Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis of Condorcet (; 17 September 1743 – 29 March 1794), known as Nicolas de Condorcet, was a French philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from ...

Condorcet
, have included the disappearance of
slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), while treated as property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and co ...
, the rise of
literacy Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (ph ...
, the lessening of
inequalities Inequality may refer to: Economics * Attention inequality, unequal distribution of attention across users, groups of people, issues in etc. in attention economy * Economic inequality, difference in economic well-being between population groups * I ...
between the sexes,
reforms Reform ( lat, reformo) means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc. The use of the word in this way emerges in the late 18th century and is believed to originate from Christopher Wyvill#The Yorkshire Associatio ...
of harsh prisons and the decline of
poverty Poverty is the state of having little material possessions or income Income is the consumption and saving opportunity gained by an entity within a specified timeframe, which is generally expressed in monetary terms.Smith's financial dictionary ...

poverty
.Nisbet, Robert (1980). ''History of the Idea of Progress''. New York: Basic Books Ch. 5 The social progress of a society can be measured based on factors such as its ability to address fundamental
human need A need is something that is necessary Necessary or necessity may refer to: * Need ** An action somebody may feel they must do ** An important task or essential thing to do at a particular time or by a particular moment * Necessary and sufficien ...
s, help citizens improve their
quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a list of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public heal ...

quality of life
, and provide opportunities for citizens to succeed. Social progress is often improved by increases in GDP, although other factors are also relevant. An imbalance between economic and social progress hinders further economic progress, and can lead to political instability. Where there is an imbalance between economic growth and social progress, political instability and unrest often arise. Lagging social progress also holds back economic growth in these and other countries that fail to address human needs, build social capital, and create opportunity for their citizens.


Status of women

How progress improved the status of women in traditional society was a major theme of historians starting in the Enlightenment and continuing to today. British theorists (1721–1793) and
Edmund Burke Edmund Burke (; 12 January NS.html"_;"title="New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS">New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS/nowiki>_1729_–_9_July_1797)_was_an_Irish_Politician.html" ;"title="New_Style">NS.html" ;"title="Ne ...
(1729–1797), along with many of their contemporaries, remained committed to Christian- and republican-based conceptions of virtue, while working within a new Enlightenment paradigm. The political agenda related beauty, taste, and morality to the imperatives and needs of modern societies of a high level of sophistication and differentiation. Two themes in the work of Robertson and Burke—the nature of women in 'savage' and 'civilized' societies and 'beauty in distress'—reveals how long-held convictions about the character of women, especially with regard to their capacity and right to appear in the public domain, were modified and adjusted to the idea of progress and became central to modern European civilization. Classics experts have examined the status of women in the ancient world, concluding that in the Roman Empire, with its superior social organization, internal peace, and rule of law, allowed women to enjoy a somewhat better standing than in ancient Greece, where women were distinctly inferior. The inferior status of women in traditional China has raised the issue of whether the idea of progress requires a thoroughgoing reject of traditionalism—a belief held by many Chinese reformers in the early 20th century. Historians Leo Marx and Bruce Mazlish asking, "Should we in fact abandon the idea of progress as a view of the past," answer that there is no doubt "that the status of women has improved markedly" in cultures that have adopted the Enlightenment idea of progress.


Modernization

Modernization was promoted by
classical liberals Classical liberalism is a political ideology and a branch of liberalism that advocates civil liberties under the rule of law with an emphasis on economic freedom. Closely related to economic liberalism, it developed in the early 19th century, ...
in the 19th and 20th centuries, who called for the rapid modernization of the economy and society to remove the traditional hindrances to free markets and free movements of people. During the
Enlightenment Enlightenment, enlighten or enlightened may refer to: Age of Enlightenment * Age of Enlightenment, period in Western intellectual history from the late 17th to late 18th century, centered in France but also encompassing: ** Midlands Enlightenment ...
in Europe
social commentators Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is Volition (psychology), voluntary/involuntary. Etymology The wo ...
and
philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'lover of wisdom'. The coining of the term has been attributed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras ( ...

philosopher
s began to realize that people ''themselves'' could change society and change their way of life. Instead of being made completely by gods, there was increasing room for the idea that people themselves ''made their own society''—and not only that, as
Giambattista Vico Giambattista Vico (born Giovan Battista Vico ; ; 23 June 1668 – 23 January 1744) was an Italian political philosopher and rhetorician, historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest hi ...

Giambattista Vico
argued, ''because'' people made their own society, they could also fully comprehend it. This gave rise to new sciences, or
proto-science__NOTOC__ In philosophy of science Philosophy of science is a branch of philosophy concerned with the foundations, methodology, methods, and implications of science. The central questions of this study concern Demarcation problem, what qualifies ...
s, which claimed to provide new scientific knowledge about what society was like, and how one may change it for the better. In turn, this gave rise to
progressive Progressive may refer to: Politics * Progressivism is a political philosophy in support of social reform Political organizations * Congressional Progressive Caucus, members within the Democratic Party in the United States Congress dedicated to th ...
opinion, in contrast with conservational opinion. The social conservationists were skeptical about
panacea In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical cosmology, nature of ...

panacea
s for social ills. According to conservatives, attempts to radically remake society normally make things worse.
Edmund Burke Edmund Burke (; 12 January NS.html"_;"title="New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS">New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS/nowiki>_1729_–_9_July_1797)_was_an_Irish_Politician.html" ;"title="New_Style">NS.html" ;"title="Ne ...
was the leading exponent of this, although later-day liberals like Hayek have espoused similar views. They argue that society changes organically and naturally, and that grand plans for the remaking of society, like the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General of 1789 and ended in coup of 18 Brumaire, November 1799 with the formation of the French Consulate. Many of its ideas are considered fundamental principles ...

French Revolution
,
National Socialism Nazism (), officially National Socialism (german: Nationalsozialismus; ), is the ideology and practices associated with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (german: link=no, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, NSDAP, or National So ...
and
Communism Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...

Communism
hurt society by removing the traditional constraints on the exercise of power. The scientific advances of the 16th and 17th centuries provided a basis for book the
New Atlantis ''New Atlantis'' is an incomplete utopian A utopia ( ) is an imagined community or society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the ...
. In the 17th century,
Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle (; 11 February 16579 January 1757), also called Bernard Le Bouyer de Fontenelle, was a French author and an influential member of three of the academies of the Institut de France, noted especially for his accessibl ...
described progress with respect to arts and the sciences, saying that each age has the advantage of not having to rediscover what was accomplished in preceding ages. The epistemology of
John Locke John Locke (; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "Father of Liberalism". Considered one of t ...

John Locke
provided further support and was popularized by the Encyclopedists
Diderot Denis Diderot (; 5 October 171331 July 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer, best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the ''Encyclopédie'' along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert. He was a prominent fi ...
, Holbach, and
Condorcet Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis of Condorcet (; 17 September 1743 – 29 March 1794), known as Nicolas de Condorcet, was a French philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from ...

Condorcet
. Locke had a powerful influence on the American
Founding Fathers The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing their nation. National founders are typically those who played an influential role in setting up the systems of governance, ...
. The first complete statement of progress is that of Turgot, in his "A Philosophical Review of the Successive Advances of the Human Mind" (1750). For Turgot, progress covers not only the arts and sciences but, on their base, the whole of culture—manner, mores, institutions, legal codes, economy, and society.
Condorcet Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis of Condorcet (; 17 September 1743 – 29 March 1794), known as Nicolas de Condorcet, was a French philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from ...

Condorcet
predicted the disappearance of slavery, the rise of literacy, the lessening of inequalities between the sexes, reforms of harsh prisons and the decline of poverty.
John Stuart Mill John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 7 May 1873), usually cited as J. S. Mill, was an List of British philosophers, English philosopher, Political economy, political economist, Parliament of the United Kingdom, Member of Parliament, and civil ser ...
's (1806–1873) ethical and political thought demonstrated faith in the power of ideas and of intellectual education for improving human nature or behavior. For those who do not share this faith the idea of progress becomes questionable.
Alfred Marshall Alfred Marshall (26 July 1842 – 13 July 1924) was an English economist, who was one of the most influential economists of his time. His book, '' Principles of Economics'' (1890), was the dominant economic textbook in England for many years. ...

Alfred Marshall
(1842–1924), a British economist of the early 20th century, was a proponent of classical liberalism. In his highly influential ''Principles of Economics'' (1890), he was deeply interested in human progress and in what is now called ''sustainable development.'' For Marshall, the importance of wealth lay in its ability to promote the physical, mental, and moral health of the general population. After World War II, the modernization and development programs undertaken in the Third World were typically based on the idea of progress. In Russia the notion of progress was first imported from the West by
Peter the Great Peter the Great ( rus, Пётр Вели́кий, Pyotr Velíkiy, ˈpʲɵtr vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj), Peter I ( rus, Пётр Первый, Pyotr Pyervyy, ˈpʲɵtr ˈpʲɛrvɨj) or Pyotr Alekséyevich ( rus, Пётр Алексе́евич, p=ˈp ...

Peter the Great
(1672–1725). An absolute ruler, he used the concept to modernize Russia and to legitimize his monarchy (unlike its usage in Western Europe, where it was primarily associated with political opposition). By the early 19th century, the notion of progress was being taken up by Russian intellectuals and was no longer accepted as legitimate by the tsars. Four schools of thought on progress emerged in 19th-century Russia: conservative (reactionary), religious, liberal, and socialist—the latter winning out in the form of Bolshevist materialism. The intellectual leaders of the American Revolution, such as
Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin ( April 17, 1790) was an American polymath A polymath ( el, πολυμαθής, ', "having learned much"; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-E ...

Benjamin Franklin
,
Thomas Paine Thomas Paine (born Thomas Pain; – In the contemporary record as noted by Conway, Paine's birth date is given as January 29, 1736–37. Common practice was to use a dash or a slash to separate the old-style year from the new-style year. In the ...

Thomas Paine
,
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were cr ...

Thomas Jefferson
and
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. Before ...

John Adams
, were immersed in Enlightenment thought and believed the idea of progress meant that they could reorganize the political system to the benefit of the human condition; both for Americans and also, as Jefferson put it, for an " Empire of Liberty" that would benefit all mankind.Commager, Henry Steele (1969)
"The Past as an Extension of the Present,"
''Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society'', Vol. 79, No. 1, pp. 17–27.
In particular, Adams wrote “I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.”
Juan Bautista Alberdi Juan Bautista Alberdi (August 29, 1810 – June 19, 1884) was an Argentine political theorist and diplomat. Although he lived most of his life in exile Image:Dante exile.jpg, ''Dante in Exile'' by To be in exile means to be forced away from ...

Juan Bautista Alberdi
(1810–1884) was one of the most influential political theorists in Argentina. Economic liberalism was the key to his idea of progress. He promoted faith in progress, while chiding fellow Latin Americans for blind copying of American and European models. He hoped for progress through promotion of immigration, education, and a moderate type of federalism and republicanism that might serve as a transition in Argentina to true democracy. In Mexico, (1794–1850) was a leader of
classical liberalism Classical liberalism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosopher ...
in the first generation after independence, leading the battle against the conservative trinity of the army, the church, and the ''hacendados''. He envisioned progress as both a process of human development by the search for philosophical truth and as the introduction of an era of material prosperity by technological advancement. His plan for Mexican reform demanded a republican government bolstered by widespread popular education free of clerical control, confiscation and sale of ecclesiastical lands as a means of redistributing income and clearing government debts, and effective control of a reduced military force by the government. Mora also demanded the establishment of legal equality between native Mexicans and foreign residents. His program, untried in his lifetime, became the key element in the Mexican Constitution of 1857. In Italy, the idea that progress in science and technology would lead to solutions for human ills was connected to the nationalism that united the country in 1860. The Piedmontese Prime Minister Camillo Cavour envisaged the railways as a major factor in the modernization and unification of the Italian peninsula. The new Kingdom of Italy, formed in 1861, worked to speed up the processes of modernization and industrialization that had begun in the north, but were slow to arrive in the Papal States and central Italy, and were nowhere in sight in the "Mezzogiorno" (that is, Southern Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia). The government sought to combat the backwardness of the poorer regions in the south and work towards augmenting the size and quality of the newly created Italian army so that it could compete on an equal footing with the powerful nations of Europe. In the same period, the government was legislating in favour of public education to fight the great problem of illiteracy, upgrade the teaching classes, improve existing schools, and procure the funds needed for social hygiene and care of the body as factors in the physical and moral regeneration of the race. In China, in the 20th century the
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a revolutionary political party during the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republican Era on the Chinese mainland, where it is sometimes referred to as the Ch ...
or Nationalist party, which ruled from the 1920s to the 1940s, advocated progress. The Communists under
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong pronounced ; also Romanization of Chinese, romanised traditionally as Mao Tse-tung. (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the Proclamation of the P ...

Mao Zedong
adopted western models and their ruinous projects caused mass famines. After Mao's death, however, the new regime led by
Deng Xiaoping Deng Xiaoping (22 August 1904 – 19 February 1997), also known by his courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in t ...

Deng Xiaoping
(1904–1997) and his successors aggressively promoted modernization of the economy using capitalist models and imported western technology. This was termed the "Opening of China" in the west, and more broadly encompasses
Chinese economic reform The Chinese economic reform (; known in the West as the Opening of China) is the program of microeconomic reform, economic reforms termed "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" and "socialist market economy" in the People's Republic of China (PR ...
. Among environmentalists, there is a continuum between two opposing poles. The one pole is optimistic, progressive, and business-oriented, and endorses the classic idea of progress. For example,
bright green environmentalism Bright green environmentalism is an ideology based on the belief that the convergence of technological change Technological change (TC) or technological development, is the overall process of invention An invention is a unique or novel dev ...
endorses the idea that new designs, social innovations and green technologies can solve critical environmental challenges. The other is pessimistic in respect of technological solutions, warning of impending global crisis (through
climate change Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known event ...
or
peak oil''For Peak brand motor oil, see Peak (automotive products).'' Hubbert's upper-bound prediction for US crude oil production (1956) in red, and actual lower-48 states production through to 2014 in green Peak oil is the year when the maximum r ...
, for example) and tends to reject the very idea of modernity and the myth of progress that is so central to modernization thinking. Similarly,
Kirkpatrick Sale Kirkpatrick Sale (born June 27, 1937) is an American author who has written prolifically about political decentralism, environmentalism, luddism and technology. He has been described as having a "philosophy unified by decentralism" and as being "a ...
, wrote about progress as a myth benefiting the few, and a pending environmental doomsday for everyone. An example is the philosophy of Deep Ecology.


Philosophy

Sociologist
Robert Nisbet Robert Alexander Nisbet (; September 30, 1913 – September 9, 1996) was an American sociologist, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Vice-Chancellor at the University of California, Riverside, and an Albert Schweitzer Prof ...
said that "No single idea has been more important than ... the Idea of Progress in Western civilization for three thousand years", and defines five "crucial premises" of the idea of progress: # value of the past # nobility of Western civilization # worth of economic/technological growth # faith in reason and scientific/scholarly knowledge obtained through reason # intrinsic importance and worth of life on earth Sociologist P. A. Sorokin said, "The ancient Chinese, Babylonian, Hindu, Greek, Roman, and most of the medieval thinkers supporting theories of rhythmical, cyclical or trendless movements of social processes were much nearer to reality than the present proponents of the linear view". Unlike Confucianism and to a certain extent Taoism, that both search for an ideal past, the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition believes in the fulfillment of history, which was translated into the idea of progress in the modern age. Therefore, Chinese proponents of modernization have looked to western models. According to Thompson, the late Qing dynasty reformer, Kang Youwei, believed he had found a model for reform and "modernisation" in the Ancient Chinese Classics. Philosopher
Karl Popper Sir Karl Raimund Popper (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian-British philosopher, academic and social commentator. One of the 20th century's most influential philosophers of science, Popper is known for his rejection of the cla ...

Karl Popper
said that progress was not fully adequate as a scientific explanation of social phenomena. More recently,
Kirkpatrick Sale Kirkpatrick Sale (born June 27, 1937) is an American author who has written prolifically about political decentralism, environmentalism, luddism and technology. He has been described as having a "philosophy unified by decentralism" and as being "a ...
, a self-proclaimed
neo-ludditeNeo-Luddism or new Luddism is a philosophy opposing many forms of modern technology. The term Luddite is generally used as a pejorative applied to people showing technophobic leanings. The name is based on the historical legacy of the English Luddite ...
author, wrote exclusively about progress as a myth, in an essay entitled "Five Facets of a Myth". Iggers (1965) says that proponents of progress underestimated the extent of man's destructiveness and irrationality, while critics misunderstand the role of rationality and morality in human behavior. In 1946, psychoanalyst
Charles Baudouin Charles Baudouin (; 26 July 1893 – August 25, 1963) was a French psychoanalyst. Biography Baudouin was born Nancy, France , coordinates = , arrondissement = Nancy , canton = 3 cantons , INSEE ...
claimed modernity has retained the "corollary" of the progress myth, the idea that the present is superior to the past, while at the same time insisting that it is free of the myth: A cyclical theory of history was adopted by
Oswald Spengler Oswald Manuel Arnold Gottfried Spengler (; 29 May 1880 – 8 May 1936) was a German historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person ...

Oswald Spengler
(1880–1936), a German historian who wrote ''The Decline of the West'' in 1920.
World War I World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously known as the Great War or "The war to end war, the war ...

World War I
,
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great ...
, and the rise of totalitarianism demonstrated that progress was not automatic and that technological improvement did not necessarily guarantee democracy and moral advancement. British historian
Arnold J. Toynbee Arnold Joseph Toynbee (; 14 April 1889 – 22 October 1975) was a British historian, a philosopher of history, an author of numerous books and a research professor of comparative history, international history at the London School of Economics ...
(1889–1975) felt that Christianity would help modern civilization overcome its challenges. The Jeffersonians said that history is not exhausted but that man may begin again in a new world. Besides rejecting the lessons of the past, they Americanized the idea of progress by democratizing and vulgarizing it to include the welfare of the common man as a form of
republicanism Republicanism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use t ...
. As Romantics deeply concerned with the past, collecting source materials and founding historical societies, the Founding Fathers were animated by clear principles. They saw man in control of his destiny, saw virtue as a distinguishing characteristic of a republic, and were concerned with happiness, progress, and prosperity. Thomas Paine, combining the spirit of rationalism and romanticism, pictured a time when America's innocence would sound like a romance, and concluded that the fall of America could mark the end of 'the noblest work of human wisdom.' Historian J. B. Bury wrote in 1920: In the
postmodernist Postmodernism is a broad movement that developed in the mid- to late 20th century across philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemol ...
thought steadily gaining ground from the 1980s, the grandiose claims of the modernizers are steadily eroded, and the very concept of social progress is again questioned and scrutinized. In the new vision, radical modernizers like
Joseph Stalin Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin . ( – 5 March 1953) was a Georgia (country), Georgian revolutionary and the ruler of the Soviet Union from 1927 until 1953. He served as both General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922 ...
and
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong pronounced ; also Romanization of Chinese, romanised traditionally as Mao Tse-tung. (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the Proclamation of the P ...

Mao Zedong
appear as
totalitarian 259x259px, Democracy Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (2020): perceived authoritarian regimes in red, democracies in green, and color intensity ≈ regime intensity Totalitarianism is a form of government and a political system that prohi ...
despots, whose vision of social progress is held to be totally deformed. Postmodernists question the validity of 19th-century and 20th-century notions of progress—both on the capitalist and the Marxist side of the spectrum. They argue that both capitalism and Marxism over-emphasize technological achievements and material prosperity while ignoring the value of inner happiness and peace of mind. Postmodernism posits that both dystopia and utopia are one and the same, overarching grand narratives with impossible conclusions. Some 20th-century authors refer to the "Myth of Progress" to refer to the idea that the human condition will inevitably improve. In 1932, English physician Montague David Eder wrote: "The myth of progress states that civilization has moved, is moving, and will move in a desirable direction. Progress is inevitable... Philosophers, men of science and politicians have accepted the idea of the inevitability of progress." Eder argues that the advancement of civilization is leading to greater unhappiness and loss of control in the environment. The strongest critics of the idea of progress complain that it remains a dominant idea in the 21st century, and shows no sign of diminished influence. As one fierce critic, British historian John Gray (b. 1948), concludes: Recently the idea of progress has been generalized to psychology, being related with the concept of a goal, that is, progress is understood as "what counts as a means of advancing towards the end result of a given defined goal."


Antiquity

Historian J. B. Bury said that thought in
ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
was dominated by the theory of world-cycles or the doctrine of eternal return, and was steeped in a belief parallel to the Judaic "
fall of man The fall of man, the fall of Adam, or simply the Fall, is a term used in Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of J ...
," but rather from a preceding "
Golden Age The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology, particularly the ''Works and Days'' of Hesiod, and is part of the description of temporal decline of the state of peoples through five Ages of Man, Ages, Gold being the first and the one during wh ...

Golden Age
" of innocence and simplicity. Time was generally regarded as the enemy of humanity which depreciates the value of the world. He credits the
Epicureans Roman Epicurus bust Epicureanism is a system of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosoph ...
with having had a potential for leading to the foundation of a theory of progress through their materialistic acceptance of the
atomism Atomism (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million ...
of
Democritus Democritus (; el, Δημόκριτος, ''Dēmókritos'', meaning "chosen of the people"; – ) was an Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient w ...
as the explanation for a world without an intervening
deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male deity), god or goddess (in a polytheistic religion)", or anything revered as divine. C. Scott Littlet ...
.
Robert Nisbet Robert Alexander Nisbet (; September 30, 1913 – September 9, 1996) was an American sociologist, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Vice-Chancellor at the University of California, Riverside, and an Albert Schweitzer Prof ...
and
Gertrude Himmelfarb Gertrude Himmelfarb (August 8, 1922 – December 30, 2019), also known as Bea Kristol, was an American historian. She was a leader of conservative interpretations of history and historiography. She wrote extensively on intellectual history, ...
have attributed a notion of progress to other Greeks.
Xenophanes Xenophanes of Colophon (city), Colophon (; grc, wikt:Ξενοφάνης, Ξενοφάνης ὁ Κολοφώνιος ; c. 570 – c. 478 BC) was a Greece, Greek philosopher, theologian, poet, and critic of religious polytheism. Xenophanes is see ...
said "The gods did not reveal to men all things in the beginning, but men through their own search find in the course of time that which is better."


Renaissance

During the Medieval period, science was to a large extent based on Scholastic (a method of thinking and learning from the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to the late 15th centuries, similarly to the Post-classical, Post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roma ...
) interpretations of work. The Renaissance of the 15th, 16th and 17th Centuries changed the mindset in Europe towards an empirical view, based on a
pantheistic Pantheism is the belief that reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only Object of the mind, imaginary. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status o ...
interpretation of
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the ...

Plato
. This induced a revolution in curiosity about nature in general and scientific advance, which opened the gates for technical and economic advance. Furthermore, the individual potential was seen as a never-ending quest for being God-like, paving the way for a view of Man based on unlimited perfection and progress.


The Enlightenment (1650–1800)

In the
Enlightenment Enlightenment, enlighten or enlightened may refer to: Age of Enlightenment * Age of Enlightenment, period in Western intellectual history from the late 17th to late 18th century, centered in France but also encompassing: ** Midlands Enlightenment ...
, French historian and philosopher
Voltaire François-Marie Arouet (; 21 November 169430 May 1778), known by his ''nom de plume A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a ...

Voltaire
(1694–1778) was a major proponent of progress. At first Voltaire's thought was informed by the idea of progress coupled with rationalism. His subsequent notion of the historical idea of progress saw science and reason as the driving forces behind societal advancement.
Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher and one of the central Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers. Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemology, metaphysics, ethic ...

Immanuel Kant
(1724–1804) argued that progress is neither automatic nor continuous and does not measure knowledge or wealth, but is a painful and largely inadvertent passage from barbarism through civilization toward enlightened culture and the abolition of war. Kant called for education, with the education of humankind seen as a slow process whereby world history propels mankind toward peace through war, international commerce, and
enlightened self-interest Age of Enlightenment, Enlightened self-interest is a philosophy in ethics which states that persons who act to further the interests of others (or the interests of the group or groups to which they belong), ultimately serve their own self-interest. ...
. Scottish theorist
Adam Ferguson Adam Ferguson, FRSE Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE) is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's national academy of science and Literature, letters, judged to be "eminently distingu ...
(1723–1816) defined human progress as the working out of a divine plan, though he rejected predestination. The difficulties and dangers of life provided the necessary stimuli for human development, while the uniquely human ability to evaluate led to ambition and the conscious striving for excellence. But he never adequately analyzed the competitive and aggressive consequences stemming from his emphasis on ambition even though he envisioned man's lot as a perpetual striving with no earthly culmination. Man found his happiness only in effort. Some scholars consider the idea of progress that was affirmed with the Enlightenment, as a
secularization In sociology, secularization (or secularisation) is the transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward nonreligious values and secular institutions. The ''secularization thesis'' expresses the id ...
of ideas from early
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's la ...
, and a reworking of ideas from
ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
.


Romanticism

In the 19th century, Romantic critics charged that progress did not automatically better the human condition, and in some ways could make it worse.
Thomas Malthus Thomas Robert Malthus (; 13/14 February 1766 – 23 December 1834) was an English cleric Clergy are formal leaders within established religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, beh ...

Thomas Malthus
(1766–1834) reacted against the concept of progress as set forth by William Godwin and Condorcet because he believed that inequality of conditions is "the best (state) calculated to develop the energies and faculties of man". He said, "Had population and food increased in the same ratio, it is probable that man might never have emerged from the savage state". He argued that man's capacity for improvement has been demonstrated by the growth of his intellect, a form of progress which offsets the distresses engendered by the law of population. German philosopher
Friedrich Nietzsche Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (; or ; 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, me ...

Friedrich Nietzsche
(1844–1900) criticized the idea of progress as the 'weakling's doctrines of optimism,' and advocated undermining concepts such as faith in progress, to allow the strong individual to stand above the plebeian masses. An important part of his thinking consists of the attempt to use the classical model of 'eternal recurrence of the same' to dislodge the idea of progress. Iggers (1965) argues there was general agreement in the late 19th century that the steady accumulation of knowledge and the progressive replacement of conjectural, that is, theological or metaphysical, notions by scientific ones was what created progress. Most scholars concluded this growth of scientific knowledge and methods led to the growth of industry and the transformation of warlike societies into industrial and pacific ones. They agreed as well that there had been a systematic decline of coercion in government, and an increasing role of liberty and of rule by consent. There was more emphasis on impersonal social and historical forces; progress was increasingly seen as the result of an inner logic of society.Iggers, George G. (1965). "The Idea of Progress: A Critical Reassessment," ''American Historical Review'', Vol. 71, No. 1, pp. 1–17.


Marxist theory (late 19th century)

Marx developed a theory of
historical materialism Historical materialism is a Historical method, methodology to understand human societies and their development throughout history, arguing that historical changes in social structure are ultimately driven by the struggles and conflicts unleashe ...
. He describes the mid-19th-century condition in ''
The Communist Manifesto ''The Communist Manifesto'', originally the ''Manifesto of the Communist Party'' (german: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei), is an 1848 pamphlet by German philosophers Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was ...
'' as follows: Furthermore, Marx described the process of social progress, which in his opinion is based on the interaction between the productive forces and the relations of production:
Capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system of Production (economics), production, allocation of resources, resource allocation and Distribution (economics), distribution of goods and services within ...
is thought by Marx as a process of continual change, in which the growth of markets dissolve all fixities in human life, and Marx admits that capitalism is progressive and non-
reactionary In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such a ...
.
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a Economic materialism, materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand Social class, class relations and social conflict as well ...
further states that capitalism, in its quest for higher profits and new markets, will inevitably sow the seeds of its own destruction. Marxists believe that, in the future, capitalism will be replaced by
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
and eventually communism. Many advocates of capitalism such as Schumpeter agreed with Marx's analysis of capitalism as a process of continual change through
creative destruction Creative destruction (German: ''schöpferische Zerstörung''), sometimes known as Schumpeter's gale, is a concept in economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production ( ...
, but, unlike Marx, believed and hoped that capitalism could essentially go on forever. Thus, by the beginning of the 20th century, two opposing schools of thought—Marxism and liberalism—believed in the possibility and the desirability of continual change and improvement. Marxists strongly opposed capitalism and the liberals strongly supported it, but the one concept they could both agree on was progress, which affirms the power of human beings to make, improve and reshape their society, with the aid of scientific knowledge, technology and practical experimentation. ''Modernity'' denotes cultures that embrace that concept of progress. (This is not the same as
modernism , Solomon Guggenheim Museum 1946–1959 Modernism is both a philosophy, philosophical movement and an art movement that arose from broad transformations in Western world, Western society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The moveme ...
, which was the artistic and philosophical response to modernity, some of which embraced technology while rejecting individualism, but more of which rejected modernity entirely.)


See also

*
Accelerating change In futures studies and the history of technology The history of technology is the history of the invention An invention is a unique or novel device, method, composition or process. The invention process is a process within an overall e ...
*
Constitutional economics A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
* Global social change research project *
Happiness economics The economics of happiness or happiness economics is the theoretical, qualitative and quantitative study of happiness The term ''happiness'' is used in the context of mental or emotion Emotions are biological states associated with all of ...
*
Leisure satisfaction"Leisure refers to activities that a person voluntarily engages in when they are free from any work, social or familial responsibilities."Joudrey, A. D., & Wallace, J.E. (2009) Leisure as a Coping Resource: A Test of the Job Demand-Control-Support Mo ...
*
Manifest Destiny Manifest destiny was a widely held cultural belief in the 19th century in the United States, 19th-century United States that American settlers were destined to expand across North America. There are three basic themes to manifest destiny: * T ...

Manifest Destiny
*
Money-rich, time-poor __NOTOC__ Money-rich, time-poor is an expression used to describe groups of people who have relatively little leisure time despite having a high disposable income through well-paid employment. Time poverty has also been coined as a noun for the ph ...
* Moral progress * Progressive utilization theory * Psychometrics * Social change, Social development * Social change * Social justice * Social order * Social regress * Sociocultural evolution * Technological progress * Techno-progressivism


Notes


Further reading

* Alexander, Jeffrey C., & Piotr Sztompka (1990)
''Rethinking Progress: Movements, Forces, and Ideas at the End of the 20th Century''
Boston: Unwin Hymans. * Becker, Carl L. (1932). ''Progress and Power''. Stanford University Press. * Alain de Benoist, Benoist, Alan de (2008)
"A Brief History of the Idea of Progress,"
''The Occidental Quarterly'', Vol. VIII, No. 1, pp. 7–16. * Ferdinand Brunetière, Brunetière, Ferdinand (1922)
"La Formation de l'Idée de Progrés."
In: ''Études Critiques.'' Paris: Librairie Hachette, pp. 183–250. * Burgess, Yvonne (1994). ''The Myth of Progress''. Wild Goose Publications. * Bury, J.B. (1920)
''The Idea of Progress: An Inquiry into Its Origin and Growth''mirror
. London: The Macmillan and Co. * Christopher Dawson, Dawson, Christopher (1929). ''Progress and Religion''. London: Sheed & Ward. * Dodds, E.R. (1985). ''The Ancient Concept of Progress and Other Essays on Greek Literature and Belief''. New York: Oxford University Press. * Charles Van Doren, Doren, Charles Van (1967). ''The Idea of Progress.'' New York: Praeger. * Fay, Sidney B. (1947). "The Idea of Progress," ''American Historical Review'', Vol. 52, No. 2, pp. 231–4
in JSTOR
reflections after two world wars. * Hahn, Lewis Edwin and Paul Arthur Schilpp (eds.).(1999). ''The Philosophy of Georg Henrik von Wright''. Open Court. * Iggers, Georg G. (1965). "The Idea of Progress: A Critical Reassessment," ''American Historical Review'', Vol. 71, No. 1, pp. 1–1
in JSTOR
emphasis on 20th-century philosophies of history * William Inge (priest), Inge, William Ralph (1922)
"The Idea of Progress."
In: ''Outspoken Essays'', Second series. London: Longmans, Green & Co., pp. 158–83. * Kauffman, Bill. (1998). ''With Good Intentions? Reflections on the Myth of Progress in America''. Praege
online edition
based on interviews in a small town. * Christopher Lasch, Lasch, Christopher (1991). ''The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics''. W. W. Norto
online edition
* Mackenzie, J. S. (1899)
"The Idea of Progress,"
''International Journal of Ethics'', Vol. IX, No. 2, pp. 195–213, representative of late 19th-century approaches * Mathiopoulos, Margarita. ''History and Progress: In Search of the European and American Mind'' (1989
online edition
* Melzer, Arthur M. et al. eds. ''History and the Idea of Progress'' (1995), scholars discuss Machiavelli, Kant, Nietzsche, Spengler and other
online edition
* Nisbet, Robert (1979)
"The Idea of Progress,"
''Literature of Liberty'', Vol. II, No. 1, pp. 7–37. ** Nisbet, Robert (1980). ''History of the Idea of Progress''. New York: Basic Books. * Painter, George S. (1922)
"The Idea of Progress,"
''American Journal of Sociology'', Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 257–82. * Pollard, Sidney (1971). ''The Idea of Progress: History and Society.'' New York: Pelican. * Rescher, Nicholas; ''Scientific Progress'' (Oxford: Blackwells, 1978). * Ryan, Christopher (2019). ''Civilized to Death: The Price of Progress.'' Simon & Schuster * Sklair, Leslie (1970). ''The Sociology of Progress''. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul
online edition
* Slaboch, Matthew W. (2018). ''A Road to Nowhere: The Idea of Progress and Its Critics''. Philadelphia: The University of Pennsylvania Press. * Spadafora, David (1990). ''The Idea of Progress in Eighteenth Century Britain''. Yale University Press. * Spalding, Henry Norman, ''Civilization in East and West : an introduction to the study of human progress'', London, Oxford university press, H. Milford, 1939. * Teggart, F. J. (1949). ''The Idea of Progress: A Collection of Readings.'' Berkeley: University of California Press. * Tuveson, Ernest Lee (1949). ''Millennium and Utopia: A Study in the Background of the Idea of Progress''. Berkeley: University of California Press. * Zarandi, Merhdad M., ed. (2004). ''Science and the Myth of Progress''. World Wisdom Books.


External links



* [https://www.un.org/esa/ United Nations Economic and Social Development]
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