Human Progress Essay

Submitted By Kdubbeats
Words: 422
Pages: 2

Shawn Whitiak

Perspectives On Human Progress
Although Condorcet and Thoreau were both considered critics of their times, they presented their beliefs from different perspectives, as they were alive during different time periods. Thoreau lived during the 1800s while Condorcet lived in the 1700s like Condorcet, and it appears that morals and opinions are influenced by the age and their living conditions. In Thoreau’s time, technological advancement was one of the main priorities of society, and this made him question whether this was the right thing to prioritize. On the other hand, Condorcet lived during an earlier age in which technological advancements were not as important. With less discovered in this age, such as electricity, In one of his most famous writings, Henry David Thoreau states, “We are a race of tit-men, and soar but little higher in our intellectual flights than the columns of the daily paper” (53). Thoreau seems to be going against the direction of society by questioning whether technological advancement is actually an advancement of human culture. He believes that there is more to human culture than simply focusing on expanding technology. He compares what society considers ‘intellectual flights’ to the simplicity of writings in the newspaper, and feels that humans are not progressing so much. He does not value technology the way society does today, or the way Condorcet valued technology. Unlike Thoreau, Condorcet displays a different perspective on the progress of human civilization by saying, “From past experience, from observation of the progress which the sciences and civilization have hitherto made, and from the