thumb|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
, it refers to the proposition that advancements in technology
, and social organization
have resulted, and by extension will continue to result, in an improved human condition
; the latter may happen as a result of direct human action, as in social enterprise
or through activism
, or as a natural part of sociocultural evolution
The concept of progress was introduced in the early-19th-century social theories
, especially social evolution
as described by Auguste Comte
and Herbert Spencer
. It was present in the 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.
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.
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
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 knowledgeHumanProgress.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
, based at the University of Oxford
, 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
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
* Disability-adjusted life year
* Green national product
* Gender-related Development Index
* Genuine Progress Indicator
* Gross National Happiness
* Gross National Well-being
* Happy Planet Index
* Human Development Index
* Legatum Prosperity Index
* Social Progress Index
* OECD Better Life Index
* Subjective life satisfaction
* Where-to-be-born Index
* World Happiness Report
* World Values Survey
Scientific progress is the idea that the scientific community learns more over time, which causes a body of scientific knowledge
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
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
, 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.
Aspects of social progress, as described by Condorcet
, have included the disappearance of slavery
, the rise of literacy
, the lessening of inequalities
between the sexes, reforms
of harsh prisons and the decline of 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
s, help citizens improve their 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.
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 William Robertson
(1721–1793) and Edmund Burke
(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 was promoted by classical liberals
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
in Europe social commentators
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
argued, ''because'' people made their own society, they could also fully comprehend it. This gave rise to new sciences, or proto-science
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
opinion, in contrast with conservational opinion. The social conservationists were skeptical about panacea
s for social ills. According to conservatives, attempts to radically remake society normally make things worse. Edmund Burke
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
, National Socialism
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 Francis Bacon's
book the New Atlantis
. In the 17th century, Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle
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
provided further support and was popularized by the Encyclopedists Diderot
, and Condorcet
. Locke had a powerful influence on the American Founding Fathers
. 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
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
'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.
(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
(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
, Thomas Paine
, Thomas Jefferson
and 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
(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, José María Luis Mora
(1794–1850) was a leader of classical liberalism
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
or Nationalist party, which ruled from the 1920s to the 1940s, advocated progress. The Communists under Mao Zedong
adopted western models and their ruinous projects caused mass famines
. After Mao's death, however, the new regime led by 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
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
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
or peak oil
, 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
, wrote about progress as a myth benefiting the few, and a pending environmental doomsday for everyone. An example is the philosophy of Deep Ecology
Sociologist Robert Nisbet
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
said that progress was not fully adequate as a scientific explanation of social phenomena.
More recently, Kirkpatrick Sale
, a self-proclaimed neo-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
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
(1880–1936), a German historian who wrote ''The Decline of the West'' in 1920. World War I
, World War II
, 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
(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
. 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
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
and Mao Zedong
appear as totalitarian
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."
Historian J. B. Bury
said that thought in ancient Greece
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
," but rather from a preceding "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
with having had a potential for leading to the foundation of a theory of progress through their materialistic acceptance of the atomism
as the explanation for a world without an intervening deity
and Gertrude Himmelfarb
have attributed a notion of progress to other Greeks. Xenophanes
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." Plato
's Book III of ''The Laws
'' depicts humanity's progress from a state of nature to the higher levels of culture, economy, and polity. Plato's ''The Statesman
'' also outlines a historical account of the progress of mankind.
During the Medieval period, science was to a large extent based on Scholastic
(a method of thinking and learning from the Middle Ages
) interpretations of Aristotle's
work. The Renaissance of the 15th, 16th and 17th Centuries changed the mindset in Europe towards an empirical view, based on a pantheistic
interpretation of 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
, French historian and philosopher 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.
(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
Scottish theorist Adam Ferguson
(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
of ideas from early Christianity
, and a reworking of ideas from ancient Greece
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
(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
(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
. He describes the mid-19th-century condition in ''The Communist Manifesto
'' 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:
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
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
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
, 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
, which was the artistic and philosophical response to modernity, some of which embraced technology while rejecting individualism, but more of which rejected modernity entirely.)
* Accelerating change
* Constitutional economics
* Global social change research project
* Happiness economics
* Leisure satisfaction
* Manifest Destiny
* Money-rich, time-poor
* Moral progress
* Progressive utilization theory
* Social development
* Social change
* Social justice
* Social order
* Social regress
* Sociocultural evolution
* Technological progress
* 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.
* Benoist, Alan de
(2008)"A Brief History of the Idea of Progress,"
''The Occidental Quarterly'', Vol. VIII, No. 1, pp. 7–16.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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. 231–4in 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. 1–1in JSTOR
emphasis on 20th-century philosophies of history
* 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''. Praegeonline edition
based on interviews in a small town.
* Lasch, Christopher
(1991). ''The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics''. W. W. Nortoonline 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'' (1989online edition
* Melzer, Arthur M. et al. eds. ''History and the Idea of Progress'' (1995), scholars discuss Machiavelli, Kant, Nietzsche, Spengler and otheronline 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 Paulonline 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.
* ttps://www.un.org/esa/ United Nations Economic and Social DevelopmentThe Venus Project
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