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The Empire of CivilizationThe Evolution of an Imperial Idea$
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Brett Bowden

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226068145

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226068169.001.0001

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Civilization and the Idea of Progress

Civilization and the Idea of Progress

(p.47) 3 Civilization and the Idea of Progress
The Empire of Civilization
University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the intimate relationship between the ideal of civilization and the idea of progress. It outlines the general direction that the path of humankind's universal progress is foreseen to be traveling along, hinting at the philosophy of history it foretells, and suggests that these twin ideals have played a significant role in the pursuit of a wide-reaching philosophy of history. The chapter also discusses two related components of progress: that the human species universally progresses from an original primitive or childlike condition; and that human experience is cumulative and future-directed.

Keywords:   civilization, progress, philosophy of history, human species, human experience

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