A central question in history (to me) is:  “Why science and technology and modern civilization developed in Europe rather than ancient Greece, Rome, China, etc.” One idea that has struck me recently is the Christian idea of forgiveness, which in a non-religious sense means that you don’t have to be tied to the past based on guilt or family association (or
caste)… Hence the idea of progress (which some in the middle east and elsewhere would deny.)

Since people always are asking philosophers to be more specific I think we can actually find
ways to measure/quantify how fast different societies devalue the past (e.g 5% per year).  Perhaps the beginnings of a real version of Isaac Asimov’s psycho-history as he wrote about in the Foundation series.