David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Inquiry 11 (1-4):321 – 331 (1968)
The idea of progress is developed by Comte in an extremely complex manner. This development is shown to be inconsistent on logical and empirical grounds, although it is most instructive in highlighting the problems that any theory of progress must face. The major problem is that of the relations between material and moral progress, however defined. Comtean positivism can give no satisfactory account of this, for it is bound, by its methodology, to hold that moral progress necessarily results from material and scientific progress. Comte's enduring contribution to social thought reminds us of the nature of the unsolved problems of progress.
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