Perhaps the most visually linear idea of progressive development theory formulated in the French mathematician, sociologist and politician Jean Antoine Nicolas Condorcet (1743-1794), who created a sufficiently coherent concept of rising human development. In “Thumbnail historical picture of progress of the human mind” JA Condorcet first tried to trace the significance of the various forms of economy, technical innovations, scientific and philosophical discoveries for the general spiritual development of humanity. The combination of material and economic and intellectual phenomena he saw, like Voltaire, a complex system that we call culture.
The central phenomenon of this system – the mind. The power of reason as the sovereign expression of human nature manifested in the fact that it does not recognize any illegal, unidentified areas, for he has no authority. The main objective mind is that, realizing the immutable laws of nature and society, social development directed to the desired goal – equality, freedom and justice. JA Condorcet understood the limitations of the individual mind, because his theory was to improve the collective mind of humanity, embodied in science and art. And he believed that the mind – a universal human characteristic that is independent of race or ethnicity. On this basis will be made common to all humanity economic structures, rules and formulas pedagogical principles of the political system.
JA Condorcet believed that irreversible progress of reason, but “progress may be more or less rapid development but never will go back.” According to its concept – the progress of culture is cumulative because the more accomplished, the sooner you can move on. It accelerates every age, every generation. JA Condorcet firmly believe that no development of the mind and knowledge can hinder progress and happiness. Delays progress is ultimately due to ignorance, errors or outright deception. All people are the same stage of development. However, some people are moving quickly towards progress, others – slowly. Therefore, more advanced nations should help the lagging move on.
Tracing the course of cultural history, JA Condorcet highlights in her 10 major epochs, some kind of cultural formations or stages of civilization. Each is based on a certain degree of intelligence. He illustrates his theory on the material of European culture, only occasionally referring to similar or contrasting examples from other cultures. Changing epochs is a result of a creative act, leads to the next, higher stage of development, due to the growth and improvement of the mind. Very briefly characterize these times.
Early era dating from them that they should not, says only that the first social order spontaneously under the influence of unconscious human needs. Further, as the division of labor and the development of cognitive abilities and improve his moral qualities, the transition to the next era in which the predominant sedentary caused by grazing and agriculture. The third era ends with the invention of writing. The fourth involves an unprecedented flowering of science and art in ancient Greece. A fifth of the period Sciences in Greece and Rome to their decline and adoption of Christianity. The sixth era includes the period of the Crusades. The seventh revival science begins in Europe and ends with the invention of printing. Eighth era marked by spiritual upheaval caused by the invention of printing, the rise of science, arts, performing Discovery. Ninth era lasts from appearing on the horizon philosophical figure of Descartes to the formation of the French Republic and leads to awareness of the need penetration of progressive ideas to the masses, to change customs, morals, Freedom of conscience, to the brotherhood of all mankind. Task tenth that comes in its time era boils down to the destruction of inequality among nations and establish a reasonable and equitable manner throughout the world. This uncomplicated scheme enlightening the progressive development of human culture, created by JA Condorcet.
Concept A. J. Condorcet – represents the most complete Enlightenment, according to which human progress is caused by continuous development and enrichment of the human mind. JA Condorcet believes in the cultural mission in Europe, he is convinced that European education will be distributed throughout the Earth without violence and lead to a convergence of nations.
Much later the English philosopher Alfred North Whitehead (1861 – 1917), describing the main trends of the Enlightenment and the Middle Ages, said: “By comparing these times, we should remember that the mind can make mistakes and faith may be misplaced.” However, such estimates era yet to come, so far as it precedes the steady implementation of the ideas that have emerged so far.