Show Summary Details

p. 201. Three thousand years of futureslocked

  • Jennifer M. Gidley


By understanding how humans in the past have framed the future, we can gain a deeper appreciation of the significance of futures thinking. ‘Three thousand years of futures’ explores the history of time consciousness, beginning with prophets in Judaeo-Christian and Persian cultures, the sibyls of ancient Greece, and Plato’s utopian vision. It then considers the Renaissance period, which represented a revolution in thinking and culture that pointed to a radically different future, and the 18th-century European Enlightenment. The dark side of progress—as portrayed by Malthus—is discussed along with Cornucopianism, which emerged in response. Finally, the effects of the two world wars on states’ future planning is considered.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.