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progressive practice

gary e. davis
February 7, 2019

Highly engaging research, education, culture, and community, altogether for the sake of advancing humanity is an ambitious definition for ‘progressivity’ that’s appealing to me.

It tropes the appeal of idealism for any non-trivial definition of ‘progress’ (trivial: goal-oriented movement; non-trivial: “betterment; especially: the development or evolution of mankind,” M-W Unabridged—but that’s redundant, because [a] evolution is non-trivially a matter of progress, which is [b] aspirationally more than development; and [c] M-W’s accurate lexicality tropes a sexist heritage: “Mankind” is a paternalist notion of humanity, the latter being at once virtuous and gynandrous [which I prefer over ‘androgynous’] ).

A simpler notion of progress—metonymic of the highland above—is: efficacy of pragmatic ambition, where being pragmatic is a fruitful balance of idealism with “realism,” in the folk sense of prudence—or better: masterfully effective competence with reality (in the epistemic sense), which is never as responsive or malleable as one desires.

Less simply, which I mentioned earlier, “‘realism’ (factuality / evidentiary confidence) serves reliability of results for ‘idealism’ (long-term project-ivity).” And idealism—aspiration, conception, promise, audacity—has no intrinsic boundary:

  • What high scale of flourishing can be exemplified?
  • How flexible can be the adaptability of creative intelligence?
  • Why not favor what better leads to and supports cultivation of humanity, creative lives, scientific artistry, and shows exemplary promise of making good contribution to the health, then fruitfulness, of Our planetary commons?
  • Why not favor the most meaningfully successful lives, even the most meaningfully powerful because most humanly flourishing lives?
    (That is: understanding power relative to admirable exemplarity.)
  • There can be fair—truly demophilic—leading minds.

Of course we do validly favor, for good reason. (But, we don’t proffer ourselves
as Chosen. True graciousness involves genuine appreciating.) Why we favor for “good” reason traces back to intrinsic value, which warrants why one should be credibly idealistic (or virtuously pragmatic): Be good*.

But, the following about rooms in the home of progress will be just mostly listed senses of enterprising community, culture, education, and research. The point is to emphasize aspects of a holistic sense of progressivity, not to cover the topics presently. (Later dwelling with the topics, in detail and systematicaly, will be relatively easy because I’ve been gathering resources for many years).


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  Be fair. © 2019, gary e. davis