Comte - Overview
- Member of the "pre-1850-60 generation of classical theorists
- Coined term "sociology"
- Considered "father of (scientific) sociology"
- Advocated for sociology as a "social physics"
The Course in Positive Philosophy
- "CHAPTER 1 Account of the Aim of This Work; View of the Nature and Importance of the Positive Philosophy" at http://www.historyguide.org
- The Condensed Edition of Auguste Comte's A Course in Positive Philosophy…in just 3800 words at Glyn Hughes "Squashed Philosophers"
A General View of Positivism
- What would it mean to say that Comte's goal was a "naturalistic" science of society? As opposed to what?
- Distinguish "statics" and "dynamics" in general, on the one hand, and in connection with the study of society, on the other.
- What is the relationship, for Comte, between "observed facts" and "theory"?
- Explain what it means to say that the basic goal of a "social physics" is to discover the laws that govern social behavior and evolution. How does prediction or "prevision" play into this?
References on the Net
Concepts and Terms
- social physics
- dynamics and statics
- Law of three stages (theological, metaphysical/abstract, positive/scientific)
- Henri de Saint-Simon (influenced by)
- French revolution (motivated by conditions in generations after)
- Karl Marx (contemporary, influenced)
- John Stuart Mill (contemporary, influenced)
- Harriet Martineau (contemporary, influenced, translated by)
- Herbert Spencer (contemporary, influenced)
- Émile Durkheim (next generation, influenced)
Harriet Martineau was the English translator for Comte's Positive Philosophy (1853).
page revision: 6, last edited: 25 Jul 2010 18:56