Alexandra Zylka February 7 , 2011
HIS109Y – Science and Progress
The idea of scientism and progress
- The idea that tomorrow will be better than today
- The idea of being part of western civilization
- Science and technology will ensure that we will be happier, wealthier…
- The idea of progress enters along with the enlightenment that the idea of progress
becomes a part of our vision
- Any improvement to the human condition was left to the next world.
- The only way for the world to get better – in the view of divine revelation – if God made it
- The idea that we are in control of our own destinies.
- The eternal absolutes must always be obeyed – any deviance, must be punished.
- The Enlightenment changed the traditions and the patterns of western thought.
o Galileo, Newton
- Superstitious, the divine = the unanswerable, unknown forces.
- If we understand the universe, we will get away from the things we thought ran the
- Complete faith in reason
o Changed our world
- Reason set of the idea of progress
o Application of reason in the 19 century was scientific
o In order to discover what is true and good
- “Scientism” – forces us to be rational and reasonable.
o Responsibility of scientists, thinkers, to guide progress to be good.
- Facilitate this production of a better world
- European society had problems
o Conditions that were too obvious – the poor
- Progress allowed for you to change the situation; human needs.
- Establish what you want to do – political power to those with no property, power to those
- Karl Marx – identified progress, believed that progress can be achieved through Utonian
- Aftermath of WW1 – the belief in progress – became seriously questioned.
o Human reason
o 1960s – Western societies questioned progress as a goal itself.
- 19 century
o Any nation in western, it was hard to believe that progress wasn’t there.
o Catalogue, observe the obvious clear benefits.