Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues. Get Access Twentieth Century World and the Future Prospect Essay Sample The pre World War I Europe was characterized by capitalistic trends of spawning industrialization, colonization on the one hand, and the emergence of liberalism, collectivism, and Darwinian socialism on the other.
Confusion Over the Meanings of Progress The essence of the Western idea of progress can be simply stated: But what, it will be asked, does "advance" mean?
Here matters necessarily become more complex. Its meanings have ranged from the most sublimely spiritual advance to the absolutely physical or material.
In its most common form the idea of progress has referred, ever since the Greeks, to the advance of knowledge, more particularly the kind of practical knowledge contained in the arts and sciences.
But the idea has also been made to refer to the achievement of what the early Christians called earthly paradise: We find the perspective of progress used, especially in the modern world, to give substance to the hope for a future characterized by individual freedom, equality, or justice.
But we also find the idea of progress made to serve belief in the desirability and necessity of political absolutism, racial superiority, and the totalitarian state. In sum, there is almost no end to goals and purposes which have been declared the fulfillment or outcome of mankind's progress.
Other, older civilizations have certainly known the ideals of moral, spiritual, and material improvement; have known the quest for virtue, spirituality, and salvation in one degree or other.
But only in Western Civilization, apparently, does the idea exist that all history may be seen as one of humanity improving itself, step by step, stage by stage, through immanent forces, until at some remote time in the future a condition of near-perfection for all will exist—such perfection definable, as I have noted, in a great variety of ways.
There is a widespread misconception of this idea that I must immediately identify. It is commonly believed that the idea of progress is a peculiarly modern idea, largely unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans, wholly unknown to the Christian thinking that governed Europe from the fall of Rome until the late seventeenth century, and first manifest in the currents of rationalism and science.
These modern currents, the argument continues, repulsed Christian theology and made possible, for the first time, a philosophy of human progress on this earth. This is the view that governs the contents of the single most widely read book on the history of the idea, J.
Bury, The Idea of Progress: An Inquiry into its Origin and Growth, published in The view, or misconception, is not original with Bury. It may be found in most of the philosophical and historical writings in the West from the late eighteenth century on. Of all the ideas which Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment thinkers cherished, none was more favored than the idea of progress, so often used to buttress other favored ideas, and with it the fancy that only in the modern world was it possible for so noble an idea to have been born.
I venture the guess that in ninety-nine percent of the writing on the idea of progress, the view is commonplace that the idea is inseparable from modernity and that it became possible of formulation only after Western thought had finally been able to throw the shackles of Christian and classical-pagan dogma.
The ancients, it is said, were unable to shake off ideas of fate, of degeneration from a golden age, of cycles, and an indemic pessimism. The Christians, although through belief in redemption by Christ possessed of optimism and hope, turned their minds entirely to the supernatural, believing that the things of this world are of no importance, and foresaw an early end to this world and the ascent by the blessed to an unchanging, eternal heaven.
Classical Antiquity and the Idea of Progress So much for conventional wisdom. Let us turn to the results of still-emerging, specialized modern scholarship on the different episodes in the history of the idea and turn also to the actual texts, from Hesiod to Toynbee, in which faith in progress has been expressed for some 2, years.
The thesis that pagan-classical antiquity was bereft of belief in man's material and moral progress has been utterly destroyed by such authoritative works as Ludwig Edelstein, The Idea of Progress in Antiquity the most comprehensive and thorough ; W.
Guthrie, especially his In the Beginning; E. The late Professor Edelstein speaks for them all when he tells us that the ancients "formulated most of the thoughts and sentiments that later generations down to the nineteenth century were accustomed to associate with the blessed or cursed word progress.
We almost inevitably associate Hesiod with belief in a primordial golden age, from which mankind has been steadily degenerating, reaching, in Hesiod's time, an iron age that is deemed the worst of all.
Humanity confined its hopes to an early disappearance of this iron age and mankind's return to the first, that golden age when there was no knowledge but, at the same time, no contaminants to moral virtue and universal happiness.
Actually, Hesiod doesn't write of ages at all, but of races: Second, far from there being steady degeneration, the fourth, the age of "hero-men" comes very close to the original "golden race" in quality.
The careful reader will in fact find many lines in Hesiod's work which testify to his awareness of a great deal of good in the world around him and, more important, to his conviction that genuine reform is possible if only good men will rally to its cause. The eminent classicist at Berkeley, George M.
Calhoun, in his Growth of Criminal Law in Greece, refers to Hesiod as the first European reformer, and to his book as the beginning of Western "political literature. Teggart, in an article, "The Argument of Hesiod's Works and Days," Journal of the History of Ideas, Januarywrites, after long, meticulous analysis of the text, that Hesiod "set before men the first idea of progress.
Late in the sixth century B. Xenophanes, in a surviving fragment, declared: There is no better place than in Plato's dialogue, Protagoras, to acquire first the substance of Protagoras' beliefs, and second the clear sense of Plato's own admiration for this great philosopher—admiration sufficient to lead Plato to put down, as it were, his cherished Socrates, also present at the discussion.Prose Essays / Pre -Twentieth Century Prose; Nov 15, in Prose Essays.
0. Pre -Twentieth Century Prose. they can educate the readers about life under Queen Victoria’s reign but they are also very important in the modern world as it is still important to have morals and stick to them and most of the themes I use have moral aspects to. Early Twentieth Century Sawako Ariyoshi () was born in Wakayama prefecture and also raised in a place south of Osaka known for its obsolete, venerable customs, this setting fuelled a pursuit in the conventional arts and theatre and were mirrored in a few of Ariyoshis initial tales.
Twentieth Century World and the Future Prospect The pre World War I Europe was characterized by capitalistic trends of spawning industrialization, colonization on the one hand, and the emergence of liberalism, collectivism, and Darwinian socialism on the other. The third wave, in Toffler's schema, began in the post-World War II era, when technology began to outstrip industry as the dominant cultural and economic force in society.
Twentieth Century World and the Future Prospect Essay Sample. The pre World War I Europe was characterized by capitalistic trends of spawning industrialization, colonization on the one hand, and the emergence of liberalism, collectivism, and Darwinian socialism on the other.
American Literature of the Twentieth Century Essay - The country as it was in the early part of the twentieth century was shaped toward regenerating and recovering from World War I, the Great Depression, and a lot of other socially-crippling disruptions that were forever altering the United States in a lot of different ways.