Auguste Comte: Positivism of Comte Sociology YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Auguste Comte
  • Born in France, 19th January 1798.
  • Great French Philosopher.
  • A big critic of Napoleon՚s administration.
  • In 1818, he became secretary of Saint Simon
Auguste Comte

Saint Simon was a great socialist philosopher of the time and was often referred to as a socialist dreamer. Jointly, Simon and Comte published their work “Plan of the scientific operations necessary for the reorganization of the society” .

Some of the main works of Auguste Comte

  • The Prospectus of the scientific works required for the reorganization of the Society: 1822
  • Positive Philosophy: 1830 - 1842 in 6 volumes.
  • Positive Polity: 1851 - 1854 in 4 volumes

Positivism of Comte

  • Comte is known as the father of positivism.
  • According it is nothing else but philosophy of science.
  • A way of thinking that rejects metaphysics and rely only on scientific knowledge.
  • Positivism states that the only true knowledge is the scientific knowledge.
  • Any knowledge that can be observed, analyzed or experimented is scientific Knowledge.

Law of Three Stages of Development

Comte՚s law of three stages of development is based on Charles Darwin՚s “theory of organic evolution” .

The 3 stages are:

  • Theological stage: People tend to think natural phenomena in supernatural terms. In this stage we find “fetishism” , Polytheism and “Monotheism” .
  • Metaphysical stage: It is an extension of theological stage. In this stage, rationalism started to grow instead of imagination. In this stage people realized that not God is responsible for every natural phenomenon that occurs.
  • Positive stage: The final stage in which the mind has given over the vain search after absolute notions, the origin and destination of the universe.

Social Statics and Social Dynamics

  • Social Statics: It refers to the study of the law of action and reaction of the of different parts of the social order.
  • Social Dynamics: It focus on whole society as a unit of analysis and reveal how they developed and changed through time.

Comte on Sociology

  • Comte is known as the father of Sociology.
  • He coined the term in his book “Positive Polity” .
  • The term “Sociology” is derived from 2 words Socius (latin) means companion or associate and Logos (greek) means study or science.
  • According to Comte “Sociology is the science of social phenomenon subject to natural and invariable laws, the discovery of which is the object of investigation” .

Nature of Sociology

  • It is an independent science.
  • It is a social science and not a physical science.
  • It is categorical (what is) science not normative (what to do) .
  • It is pure science not applied science.
  • It is relatively an abstract science not a concrete science.
  • It is general science not specialized science.
  • It is both rational and empirical science.

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