Human Progress and the Inconsistency of the Equation ‘Economic Growth=Progress’ in the Late Capitalism
Working Paper CocciaLab n. 28, CNR - National Research Council of Italy
23 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2018
Date Written: February 14, 2018
The concept of progress has characterized human society for millennia. The goal of this paper is to suggest a definition of human progress that is a concept too often given for certain. The theoretical framework is based on philosophical and sociological researches from the Nineteenth century to the present day. This study proposes human progress as an inexhaustible process driven by an ideal of maximum wellbeing which, on attainment of any of its goals or objectives for increasing wellbeing, then seeks another consequential goal and objective, endlessly, which more closely approximates its ideal. The ideal of human progress as time approaches infinity is the expansion of scientific knowledge, the improvement of technology and the growth of freedom directed to increase wellbeing in society. In the global, capitalistic, and post-humanistic Era, the concept of human progress has been linked to several dimensions represented by science advances, technological evolution, economic growth, extended education, long and healthy life of individuals and society. These factors support the acquisition by humanity of better and more complex forms of life. However, human progress also generates - during its continuous process without limit - negative effects for human being and society. This study shows the inconsistency of the equation economic growth=progress. Philosophical and sociological implications are discussed.
Keywords: Human Progress, Science Advances, Technological Evolution, Economic Growth, Wellbeing, Democratization, Humans, Natural Law, Social Progress, Commercial Production, Social Evolution, Sustainable Growth
JEL Classification: O10, O30, O33, O40, P10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation