Any suggested reading on the Idea of Progress? I am thinking of the idea that sprung within the West and during the Enlightenment, that promoted the belief that humanity (or at least parts of it) are in a constant, albeit intermittent, path to betterment. This idea does not seem to exist before this time or outside the bounds of the West.
There is an unsurveyable amount of writings on The Idea of progress, on progress in general or in some distinct area. Sweepingly, one may be tempted to assert that the West progresses uniformly ever since the antiquity even if the Dark Ages appear definitely to be a period of regress (see. e.g. Ian Morris and his data). A briefest overview is Reinhard Koselleck's "Progress" and "Decline'': An Appendix to the History of Two Concepts (Practice of Intell. Hist. p218-35). The Idea of Progress ed. by A. Burgen, P. McLaughlin, J. Mittelstrass (1997) is a collection of essays by notable contemporary authors.
A recent work by Daniel Špelda, Veritas filia temporis: The origins of the idea of scientific progress (Annals of Sci, 2016) proposed an original development which merits some attention and also provides good references.
In Ancient Greece there were no term corresponding to the modern one for progress.
In spite of this, there are many ideas and beliefs that we must consider :
both dissonant with the modern idea of progress.
But there were alsio the myth of Prometheus, which conveys the idea that man has risen and not fallen, stressing man's intellectual progress.