The Idea of Progress

Daniel Sarewitz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to the Philosophy of Technology
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781405146012
StatePublished - Apr 24 2009


  • Idea of progress
  • Idea of progress - carrying with it an inherent contestability, a commitment to progress bound up in human action
  • Ideas of progress addressing three types of non-trivial goals or endpoints - first is truth, as approached by religious insight, philosophical reasoning, or scientific inquiry
  • Science and technology - offering a stable frame of reference from which directional change - progress - could be recognized and measured
  • Scientific truth does make itself strongly felt in human affairs - not as truth qua truth, but through its embodiment in technology
  • Technological change - creating losers as well as winners, whose jobs and skills are displaced by machines with enhanced functionality and autonomy
  • Technology's evolution through time moving away from simplicity, transparency, closedness and discreteness toward complexity, inaccessibility, ubiquity, interconnectedness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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