Check out this thoughtful essay/blog post by Jason Crawford, which is provocatively titled “Progress studies [is] a moral imperative.” Although I am generally skeptical of “moral imperatives” (after all, moral claims are hard, if not impossible, to test or falsify, and the time and resources devoted to studying progress–or any other subject, for that matter–could be devoted to any number of other socially-valuable and morally-salient projects), there are nevertheless many aspects of Jason’s short essay that I found useful and worth sharing. Among other things, Jason raises many important questions about the nature of progress and offers several specific yardsticks for measuring human progress (see chart below, for example). At the same time, this book review by Jessica Riskin contains a powerful critique of the chart pictured below. Enjoy!
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