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Progress and History

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Author: Various Authors
Published: 1919
Language: English
Wordcount: 100,301 / 295 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 47.3
LoC Category: D
Downloads: 407
Added to site: 2009.02.01
mnybks.net#: 23310
Genre: History

This volume is a sequel to The Unity of Western Civilization published last year and arose in the same way, from a course of lectures given at the Woodbrooke Settlement, Birmingham.The former book attempted to describe some of the permanent unifying factors which hold our Western civilization together in spite of such catastrophic divisions as the present war. This book attempts to show these forces in growth. The former aimed rather at a statical, the present at a dynamical view of the same problem. Both are historical in spirit.

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is both the foundation of all other goods and the means of strengthening the spirit itself' ('Discours de la Méthode'). It is significant that the two words Progress and Humanity come into use in their modern sense side by side. The latter is the basis and the ideal of the former.

But the new thing which had come into the world at this point, and gives a fresh impulse and content to the idea of progress, is the development of science. The Greeks had founded it and, as we shall see in a later chapter, it was the recovery of the Greek thread which gave the moderns their clue. But no one before the sixteenth century, before the marvels revealed by Galileo's telescope and knit up by Newton's synthetic genius, could have conceived the visions of human regeneration by science which light up the pioneers of the seventeenth century and are the gospel of the eighteenth.

We turn to the eighteenth century, and primarily to the school of thinkers called 'philosophes' in France, for the fullest and m

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