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The Myth of Progress is the idea of refuting the concept that the whole of human society, or some part of it, has experienced a normative evolution in a positive direction, and will continue to do so in the future. One example of the Myth of Progress is in the context of science, where it is considered part of scientism.

The Myth of Progress has been considered in several different contexts. One such context is psychology, which has ascribed certain subconscious motives to beliefs in progress as supplanting older myths typically based on religion.

The following is from the Montague David Eder article referenced below: "The myth of progress states that civilization has moved, is moving, and will move in a desirable direction. Progress is inevitable..... Philosophers, men of science and politicians have accepted the idea of the inevitability of progress."[1] In this essay, he argues that the advancement of civilization is leading to greater unhappiness and loss of control in the environment. Kirkpatrick Sale, a self-proclaimed neo-luddite author, wrote exclusively about progress as a myth, in an essay entitled "Five Facets of a Myth".[2]

See also


  1. ^ David Eder, Montague (1932). The Myth of Progress. The British Journal of Medical Psychology, Vol. XII.  
  2. ^ Five Facets of a Myth


  • Y. Burgess. 'The Myth of Progress.' 1994
  • M Csikszentmihalyi, The Mythic Potential of Evolution, Journal of Religion and Science, 2000, Vol. 35, pp. 25-38.
  • Montague David Eder. 'The Myth of Progress.' The British Journal of Medical Psychology, 1932, Vol. XII, p. 1.
  • B. Kaufmann, 'With Good Intentions?: Reflections on the Myth of Progress in America,' 1998
  • G. Monastra, M. M. Zarandi, Science and the Myth of Progress, 2004.


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