The Roots of Progress

Progress and Power

Carl L. Becker

Based on three lectures delivered at Stanford in 1935. It’s illuminating about the state of intellectual thought in that era, and in particular the changing idea of progress. Even before World War 2, the concept of progress had been shaken: “The present moment, therefore, when the fact of progress is disputed and the doctrine discredited, seems to me a proper time to raise the question: What, if anything, may be said on behalf of the human race? May we still, in whatever different fashion, believe in the progress of mankind?”

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