Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Progress: Progress is an everyday expression for the positive assessment of a state change with regard to an implicitly or explicitly assumed goal. In the sciences, one speaks more neutrally, e.g. of a progressive course of disease. This refers to a combination of more or less typical stages in a time course. The expression "progress" is not applied when a course is entirely untypical. See also history, Enlightenment, process, science.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Augustine on Progress - Dictionary of Arguments

Höffe I 110
Progress/human/Augustinean/Höffe: In [Augustine's] history of salvation it is important to educate the human race, which is done analogously to the education of the individual human being. As a process of progress it "gradually swings up from the visible [worldly] to the invisible [spiritual]"(1).
Augustine interprets the course of history more closely according to the pattern of age groups, whose six numbers remind us of the six days of creation, but also of the personal development described in the Confessions:
(1) After first being "subjected to the flesh without resistance", there is
(2) Reason, but which does not yet take up the fight against vicious tendencies.
(3) If one receives "the sacraments of the mediator", one enters "from the power of darkness into the Kingdom of Christ".
(4) As soon as one experiences the (Christian) commandment, a struggle against the passions must be taken up, the
(5) Only he who achieves a "true joy of righteousness" based "on faith in Christ" will win.
(6) However, one may speak of a victory over passions only "when they are overcome by love of God" (2).
(7) These six working days are followed by the last and highest stage. It corresponds to the seventh day of creation, constitutes the conclusion of the vast State of God and consists in the "eternal bliss of the State of God and the everlasting Sabbath"(3).
Höffe I 117
Progress/Kant/Hegel: A formal core of Augustine's historical thinking, the teleological character, which tends towards a positive goal, the idea of progress, lives on in many places, however, partly as with Kant and Hegel as progress of law and freedom, partly as in an Enlightenment still practiced today as progress of science, medicine and technology.

1. Augustine, The State of God, De civitate dei X, 14
2. Ibid. XXI, 16
3. Ibid. XXII, 30

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Höffe I
Otfried Höffe
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-01-25
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