progress

In historiography and the philosophy of history, progress (from Latin progressus, “an advance”) is the idea that the world can become increasingly better in terms of science, technology, modernization, liberty, democracy, quality of life, etc. Although progress is often associated with the Western notion of monotonic change in a straight, linear fashion, alternative conceptions exist, such as the cyclic theory of eternal return, or the “spiral-shaped” dialectic progress of Hegel, Marx, et al.
Historian J. B. Bury argued that thought in ancient Greece was dominated by the theory of world-cycles or the doctrine of eternal return, and was steeped in a belief parallel to the Judaic “fall of man,” but rather from a preceding “Golden Age” of innocence and simplicity. Time was generally regarded as the enemy of humanity which depreciates the value of the world. He credits the Epicureans with having had a potential for leading to the foundation of a theory of Progress through their…