Progress and Power: Three Lectures Delivered at Stanford University, on the Raymond Fred West Memorial Foundation, April 1935

By Carl L. Becker | Go to book overview

PREFACE

This volume contains three lectures delivered at Stanford University, on the Raymond Fred West Memorial Foundation, in April 1935. The lectures are printed as given, except for some revision at the close of the last lecture and the omission, at the beginning of each lecture, of introductory remarks appropriate in oral delivery but superfluous in a printed version. I feel a certain reluctance in publishing the lectures at all, being fully aware of the disparity between the scope of the subject and my own limited competence to give it adequate treatment. My only justification must be that I have attempted nothing more ambitious than what cartographers call a diagrammatic sketch--a diagrammatic projection of human history that makes no claim to accuracy in detail. The dates given are of course only approximate, and the generalizations, if applied to any particular historical situation, would need many qualifications. I shall be content if the general idea presented in the lectures is sufficiently relevant to merit a fuller and more discriminating treatment than I have been able to give it.

There are two points that I wish to make clear. One is that the term "power" is here used in the most general sense: by an "expansion of human power" I mean no more than the capacity of men to do something, whether in the mental or the physical realm, that they could not do before. The other point is that I have not attempted

-vii-

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Progress and Power: Three Lectures Delivered at Stanford University, on the Raymond Fred West Memorial Foundation, April 1935
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Lecture One - Tools and the Man 1
  • Lecture Two - The Sword and the Pen 28
  • Lecture Three - Instruments of Precision 61
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