In a primitive society, social progresspassed extremely slowly, the changes were extended for generations. The most obvious changes were observed in the political sphere (transformation of the state system, enslavement of peoples).
Man has a tendency to measure his ownabilities and actions with the worldwide movement. The philosophers of the Ancient World began to think about the idea of progress, which they called the term "forward", from the lower to the higher, from the simple to the complex (the book of Ecclesiastes). Plato and Aristotle believed that social progress is a more complex phenomenon.
The first thoughts about the direction of life of allhumanity appeared with the birth of Christianity. The term itself appeared in the Age of Enlightenment. He was used in his works by AR Turgot and A. Kondorse. At the same time, the criteria of social progress for each philosopher and thinker were understood in different ways. Socialist-utopian A.Sen-Simon, the main criterion of progress, called morality; Hegel - awareness of his freedom; F.V. Schelling - legal development; K. Marx - the development of productive forces and social relations. However, such criteria as the development of technology, freedom, law, social progress and the economy in a certain sense are incomplete. To create a more harmonious picture, these concepts must be synthesized, since the main goal of the development of society is the comprehensive improvement of life in its various aspects and the emergence of individuals as individuals - free, humane and creative.
Public progress is not a processunidirectional. Reforms and revolutions are replaced by countermeasures, the time of activity is periods of stagnation, crises and falls. All progressive phenomena have their negative sides: the development of technology is associated with an increase in the danger to human health, the revolution does not do without victims and human suffering.
Some researchers stop at the positionthat the main criterion can be considered the productive forces of society, citing as an argument that the whole story began and exists because of the continuity in their evolution. Another part of the authors believes that the level of development of production forces is difficult to compare with respect to different peoples, since under more developed relations they may be of lower quality.
If we compare their dynamics,complexity with the choice of a period for comparison. Therefore, this group of researchers chooses the mode of production as the main criterion. The argument in favor of this is that the foundation of progress is the development of the mode of production, which, combined with the growth of productive forces and the nature of relations, helps to more fully show the level of development of one formation in relation to the other.
However, in this case there is still a problemThe definition of the progressiveness of a new mode of production. The third group of scientists suggests as a criterion to take a combination of the degree of development of productive forces and freedoms in society. But these elements are internally inconsistent, which makes this, at first glance, the most optimal criterion vulnerable.
The fourth group of researchers believes thatthe fundamental criterion of progress is the development of man himself (his abilities, his makings, individual forces). Indeed, society as a whole evolves only thanks to the development of the individual people who make it up.
Today, social progress is understood asthe direction of development of the human race, which is characterized by irreversible changes in all aspects of life, as a result of which there is a transition from simple states to more complex and perfect. Many authors agree that society is too complex organism, the development of which goes right along several lines. Therefore, it is wrong to speak about a single criterion.
Thus, at the moment there is no answer to the question of how social progress and its criteria are correlated, what is the main system-forming principle of human development.