The idea of progress from the Enlightenment to postmodernism is still very much with us. In intellectual discourse, journals, popular magazines, and radio and talk shows, the debate between those who are "progressivists" and those who are "declinists" is as spirited as it was in the late seventeenth century. In History of the Idea of Progress, Robert Nisbet traces the idea of progress from its origins in Greek, Roman, and medieval civilizations to modern times. It is a masterful frame of reference for understanding the present world.
Nisbet asserts there are two fundamental building blocks necessary to Western doctrines of human advancement: the idea of growth, and the idea of necessity. He sees Christianity as a key element in both secular and spiritual evolution, for it conveys all the ingredients of the modern idea of progress: the advancement of the human race in time, a single time frame for all the peoples and epochs of the past and present, the conception of time as linear, and the envisagement of the future as having a Utopian end.
In his new introduction, Nisbet shows why the idea of progress remains of critical importance to studies of social evolution and natural history. He provides a contemporary basis for many disciplines, including sociology, economics, philosophy, religion, politics, and science. History of the Idea of Progress continues to be a major resource for scholars in all these areas.
|Introduction to the Transaction Edition|
|The Genesis and Development of the Idea of Progress|
|The Classical World||p. 10|
|The Early Christians||p. 47|
|Medieval Currents||p. 77|
|The Renaissance: Some Cross-Currents||p. 101|
|The Great Renewal||p. 118|
|The Triumph of the Idea of Progress|
|Progress as Freedom||p. 179|
|Progress as Power||p. 237|
|The Persistence of Progress||p. 297|
|Progress at Bay||p. 317|
|Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.|
Number Of Pages: 390
Published: 31st January 1994
Publisher: TRANSACTION PUBL
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.76 x 15.44 x 2.95
Weight (kg): 0.6
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: New edition