Condorcet's tenth stageof civilization, the last and the greatest, is marked by liberty, equality,democracy and universal education for all. Of all these social developments,education is the most significant to Condorcet because it is the key toall forms of human progress: "With greater equality of education therewill be greater equality in industry and so in wealth; equality in wealthnecessarily leads to equality in education: and equality between nationsand equality within a single nation are mutually dependent" Thus, a "well directed system of education" will resultin "progress" in its most basic form and "the absolute perfection of thehuman race" Through education, the citizen ofthe masses might, among other things, be taught to manage their own households,to know their rights and to exercise those rights, to be empowered in theface of those who possess authority, to overcome ignorant prejudices, touse reason to overcome superstition, and to advance the technological arts Furthermore, Condorcet recognized the needfor a linkage between science and the technological arts in education:
In several instances, the frequency of mentions of Malthus and Condorcet increased in times of increasing government outlays in the form of social programs, for some of which Condorcet was one of the earliest advocates.
The progress of the sciences secures the progress of the art of instruction, which again accelerates in its turn that of the sciences; and this reciprocal influence, the action of which is incessantly increased, must be ranked in the number of the most prolific and powerful causes of the improvement of the human race. At present, a young man, upon finishing his studies and quitting our schools, may know more of the principles of mathematics than Newton acquired by profound study, or discovered by the force of his genius, and may exercise the instrument of calculation with a readiness which at that period was unknown. The same observation, with certain restrictions, may be applied to all the sciences. In proportion as each shall advance, the means of compressing, within a smaller circle, the proofs of a greater number of truths, and of facilitating their comprehension, will equally advance. Thus, notwithstanding future degrees of progress, not only will men of equal genius find themselves, at the same period of life, upon a level with the actual state of science, but, respecting every generation, what may be acquired in a given space of time, by the same strength of intellect and the same degree of attention, will necessarily increase, and the elementary part of each science, that part which every man may attain, becoming more and more extended, will include, in a manner more complete, the knowledge necessary for the direction of every man in the common occurrences of life, and for the free and independent exercise of his reason.
In speaking of the fine arts in Greece, in Italy, and in France, we have observed, that it is necessary to distinguish, in their productions, what really belongs to the progress of the art, and what is due only to the talent of the artist. And here let us enquire what progress may still be expected, whether, in consequence of the advancement of philosophy and the sciences, or from an additional store of more judicious and profound observations relative to the object, the effects and the means of these arts themselves; or lastly, from the removal of the prejudices that have contracted their sphere, and that still retain them in the shackles of authority, from which the sciences and philosophy have at length freed themselves. Let us ask, whether, as has frequently been supposed, these means may be considered as exhausted? or, if not exhausted, whether, because the most sublime and pathetic beauties have been siezed; the most happy subjects treated; the most simple and striking combinations employed; the most prominent and general characters exhibited; the most energetic passions, their true expressions and genuine features deleniated; the most commanding truths, the most brilliant images displayed; that, therefore, the arts are condemned to an eternal and monotonous imitation of their first models?
In short, does not the well-being, the prosperity, resulting from the progress that will be made by the useful arts, in consequence of their being founded upon a sound theory, resulting, also, from an improved legislation, built upon the truths of the political sciences, naturally dispose men to humanity, to benevolence, and to justice? Do not all the observations, in fine, which we proposed to develope in this work prove, that the moral goodness of man, the necessary consequence of his organization, is, like all his other faculties, susceptible of an indefinite improvement? and that nature has connected, by a chain which cannot be broken, truth, happiness, and virtue?
where is the one who, instead of always looking beyond nature for anew way of enjoying or abusing its blessings, finds each day a newpleasure in changing all the bonds of duty and servitude around himinto relations of charity, good faith and kindness … (Grouchy1994, 183; for scholarly appreciations of Grouchy's translation ofAdam Smith, her independent contribution to moral philosophy, and herintellectual impact on Condorcet, see Dawson 2004; Brown 2008; Grouchy2010)
Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet, Outlines of an Historical View of the Progress of the Human Mind  (Philadelphia, 1796), Tenth Epoch.
The final philosopher of progress I shall select from classicalantiquity is Seneca. A Stoic, an adviser to emperors and others, he wasalso a scientist in every sense of the word. His Quaestiones Naturalespresents a remarkable collection of observations and experiments in thenatural world and embodies virtually a Darwinian theory of evolution(as there is in Lucretius also), with more than mere hints of themechanism of natural selection. But Seneca the social scientist, theanthropologist, is best seen in his Epistulae Morales. Hereis another classical text in human progress. There is passing,uninterested reference to some aboriginal golden age when virtue wasascendant amid cultural simplicity and to a fall from this primevalstate (not different, really, from what Rousseau would write manycenturies later on the state of nature and of man's social and culturalascent from it). But what thoroughly engages Seneca's attention is themeans and the stages through which humanity has climbed to its presentvast knowledge. He grants philosophy some credit, but it is "man'singenuity, not his wisdom" that discovered all the really vital thingsin civilization—farming, metallurgy, navigation, tools and implementsof every kind, language, and so on. And, despite Senecan ruminationsfrom time to time about the age and decrepitude of the world, there areother, scintillating passages in which, like Lucretius, he foreseeslong ages ahead of increase in knowledge. "The time will come," hewrites in the Quaestiones Naturales, "when mental acumen andprolonged study will bring to light what is now hidden . . . the timewill come when our successors will wonder how we could have beenignorant of things so obvious." And in his Epistulae Senecaenjoins his contemporaries: "Much remains to do; much will remain; andno one born after thousands of centuries will be deprived of the chanceof adding something in addition."
Let us now examine the Christian contribution to the idea ofprogress in the West. It is very large indeed. As I have already noted,the same bent of mind that denies to the Greeks and Romans any realconception of progress is prone (with a few exceptions such as JohnBaillie, The Belief in Progress, which attributes toChristianity what it takes from the pagans) to deny Christianity anyvision of mankind's progress. But, as with the Greeks and Romans, asubstantial and growing body of scholarship demonstrates quite theopposite. Such impressive studies as Gerhard B. Ladner, The Idea of Reform: Its Impact on Christian Thought and Action in the Age of the Fathers; Charles N. Cochrane, Christianity and Classical Culture; Karl Löwith, Meaning in History; and Marjorie Reeves, The Influence of Prophecy in the Later Middle Agesmake it certain beyond question that a very real philosophy of humanprogress appears almost from the very beginning in Christian theology,a philosophy stretching from St. Augustine (indeed his predecessors,Eusebius and Tertullian) down through the seventeenth century.
Building upon the idealsof Condorcet, Jefferson, and Mann, Dewey wrote in his 1900 essay "Schoolingas a Form of Community Life" that school should be thought of as a "miniaturecommunity, an embryonic society" As such, Deweyrecognized the need for a more "cultural" education, one that combinedtheory and practice, to help create more well-rounded, intelligent, andadaptable citizens:
This fundamental moral purpose has always driven the scientific project, and especially the very sciences President Bush referred to in his warning: biology and medicine. This moral purpose may be less obvious in the case of some other sciences, but it is no less significant. Modern science generally seeks knowledge for a reason, and it is a moral reason, and on the whole a good one.