The notion of “progress” from the philosophy of language perspective

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

DOI: 10.32326/2618–9267–2021–4–2–17–24


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