It seemed clear to many in the nineteenth century that progress was as real as gravity or any other natural phenomenon. And its reality was given special force by the great invention of invention. We learned how to invent things, and the question of why receded in importance. The idea that if something could be done, it should be done was born in the nineteenth century. And along with it there developed a profound belief in all the principles through which invention succeeds: objectivity, efficiency, standardization, measurement, a market economy, and, of course, faith in progress.

sources

  1. Building a Bridge to the 18th Century