Cite this article as:

Makhovikov A. E. Personality Development as an Ideological Illusion of the Idea of Progress. Izvestiya of Saratov University. Philosophy. Psychology. Pedagogy, 2019, vol. 19, iss. 3, pp. 267-271. DOI:

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0).

Personality Development as an Ideological Illusion of the Idea of Progress

The article is devoted to the topic of personal development in the idea of progress. This idea has always reflected in its content the concept of irreversible, linear and universal development as a movement from lower to higher. In this context, most studies on this topic considered the thesis of the inevitable, guaranteed, permanent and upward development of the personality as an axiom. However, the practice of our civilizational development is clearly contrary to this thesis, and here, in our opinion, the problem arises: is it even possible to develop personality in the framework of this idea? The solution to this problem becomes the purpose of this study. The dialectical, historical, comparative and axiological methods of scientific analysis were used as the methodological basis for the realization of this purpose. As a result of the study, the following conclusions were obtained. Within the framework of the Christian tradition, the development of a personality is caused by the possibility of its qualitative improvement in the process of spiritual and moral ascent from the “earthly city” to “the city of God”. In the era of the Renaissance and the New Age, theocentrism gives way to anthropocentrism and the person acquires the meaning of the Absolute, the Universe, which is autonomous and self-contained, a well-defined and complete whole, which causes the problem in substantiating the possibility of its development. In addition, the idea of progress, which appears at the same time to solve this problem, limits the entire development of a personality only within the boundaries of the “earthly city”, excluding the possibility of the qualitative improvement for the individual. Such an understanding of the development of personality gains the meaning of nothing more than an ideological illusion. Attempts to realize this illusion today have led a person to a deep anthropological crisis, which, without the absolute priority of spiritual and moral values as the main criterion in understanding its development, threatens the Humanity to grow into an anthropological catastrophe.


1. Grushin B. A. Razvitiye [Development]. In: Novaya filosofskaya entsiklopediya: in 4 vols. Eds. V. S. Stepin, A. A. Gusseynov, G. Yu. Semigin, A. P. Ogurtsov. Moscow, Mysl', 2010, vol. III, pp. 397–398 (in Russian).

2. Zaytsev A. I. Progress. In: Novaya filosofskaya entsiklopediya: in 4 vols. Eds. V. S. Stepin, A. A. Gusseynov, G. Yu. Semigin, A. P. Ogurtsov. Moscow, 2010, vol. III. pp. 358–359 (in Russian).

3. Karsavin L. P. About personality. In: Religiozno-filosofskiye sochineniya [Religious and Philosophical Writings]. Compliter S. S. Khoruzhego. Moscow, Renessans,1992, vol. 1, pp. 3–232 (in Russian).

4. Mariten Zh. Integral Humanism. In: Filosof v mire [Philosopher in the World]. Moscow, Vysshaya shkola Publ., 1994, pp. 52–134 (in Russian).

5. Yaspers K. Istoki istorii i yeyo tsel [The origins of history and its purpose] In: Smysl i naznacheniye istorii [The Meaning and Purpose of the History]. Moscow, Politizdat, 1991, pp. 28–286 (in Russian).

6. Stepin V. S. Philosophy and the era of civilizational changes. Voprosy filosofii [Problems of Philosophy], 2006, no. 2, pp. 16–26 (in Russian).

7. Marks K., Engel’s F. The Holy Family, or Criticism of Critical Criticism. Against Bruno Bauer and Company. In: Marks K., Engels F. Sochineniya. Vol. 2. Moscow, Politizdat, 1955, pp. 3–230 (in Russian).

8. Meyerovskiy B. V. English Enlightenment. In: Chelovek: Mysliteli proshlogo i nastoyashchego o yego zhizni, smerti i bessmertii. Drevniy mir – epokha Prosveshcheniya. Moscow, Politizdat Publ., 1991. pp. 326–327 (in Russian).

9. Losev A. F. Estetika Vozrozhdeniya [Aesthetics of the Renaissance]. Moscow, Mysl’, 1982. 623 p. (in Russian).

10. Kiselev G. S. “The Mystery of Progress” and the Possibility of History. Voprosy filosofii [Problems of Philosophy], 2009, no. 2, pp. 3–19 (in Russian).

11. Popper K. R. Otkrytoye obshchestvo i yego vragi: v 2 t. T. 2. Vremya lzheprorokov: Gegel, Marks i drugiye orakuly [Open society and its enemies: in 2 vols. Vol. 2: Time of the False Prophets: Hegel, Marx and Other Oracles]. Moscow, Feniks, 1992. 528 p. (in Russian).

12. Kiselev G. S. The illusion of progress. Voprosy filosofii [Problems of Philosophy], 2015, no. 4, pp. 16–25 (in Russian).

одобрено к публикации
Short Text (PDF):