Collection of Philosophical Essays
Technological Development and Social Progress (Bernhard Irrgang)
55 Technological Development and Social Progress Bernhard Irrgang I. Introduction The Industrial Revolution, that took place in Great Britain between 1760 and 1830, began in Belgium, France and Germany about 1800 and about 1810 in the United States. We cannot talk about an industrial revolution in South America, although there are certain forms of industrialization that can be witnessed during 1830. Karl Marx started discussing the question of whether the social problems in Great Britain in the late 18th and early 19th century were caused by the Indus- trial Revolution or by the population explosion which started in the middle of the 18th century. The reasons for this growing population number can be found in the field of medical and agricultural progress. This question concerns two as- pects of technological development and the relationship between the social pro- gress and the living conditions of human-kind on the one hand and the progress of technical development on the other hand. There is no simple answer to this question, since the problem of the interaction between technical development and social progress has proved to be extremely complex, especially in the time of globalization. The category of social progress is a discovery of historical philosophy during the times of Enlightenment in the middle of the 18th century, which took place shortly before the Industrial Revolution. It caused, by the development of craft, trade and industry an upturn in the economy as a precondition for the fight against poverty, hunger and suppression. All these...
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