Ekaterina V. Vostrikova
Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences
The notion of “progress” from the philosophy of language perspective
Abstract. This paper discusses the notion of progress and the idea proposed by Alexander Nikiforov that the term “progress” belongs to the same class of words as predicates of personal taste. This claim is based on the observation that our assessment of progress depends on our subjective point of view. The paper argues that there is a substantive difference between terms of personal taste and the term “progress”. Specifically, it is shown that “progress” does not necessarily make reference to a personal point of view. The subjectivity of our assessment of “progress” in certain areas seems to be rooted in the choice of the scale and our ideas of the ideal state of an object that is the endpoint of that scale. The paper also discusses A. Nikiforov’s idea that the evolution of the Universe can provide us with the objective scale for evaluation of progress in all areas. I argue against this idea by showing that it does not help us overcome the subjectivity of progress assessment in many cases.
Keywords: progress, meaning, predicates of personal taste
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