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Encyclopedia > Auguste Comte
Auguste Comte
Auguste Comte
Born January 17 (recorded January 19), 1798
Died September 5, 1857
Paris
Spouse Caroline Massin

Auguste Comte (full name: Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte; January 17, 1798 - September 5, 1857) was a French thinker who coined the term "sociology." He is remembered for being the first to apply the scientific method to the social world. Download high resolution version (490x709, 23 KB)from fr: This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... January 17 is the 17th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... January 19 is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1798 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... September 5 is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years). ... 1857 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... January 17 is the 17th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1798 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... September 5 is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years). ... 1857 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring new knowledge, as well as for correcting and integrating previous knowledge. ... Young people interacting within an ethnically diverse society. ...

Contents

Life

Comte was born at Montpellier, in southwestern France. After attending school there, he was admitted to the École Polytechnique in Paris. The École Polytechnique was notable for its adherence to French ideals of republicanism and progress. In 1816 the École closed for reorganization. Thus Comte had to leave the École, and continued his studies at the medical school at Montpellier. When the École Polytechnique reopened, he did not request readmission... Montpellier (Occitan Montpelhièr) is a city in the south of France. ... Logo The Arms of the École Polytechnique The cadets of Polytechnique rushed to the defense of Paris against the foreign armies in 1814. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      For other uses, see Republic (disambiguation). ... Historical progress has been a main object of philosophy of history. ... 1816 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... A medical school or faculty of medicine is a tertiary educational institution or part of such an institution that teaches medicine. ...


Soon he saw unbridgeable differences with his Catholic and Monarchist family and left again for Paris, earning money by small jobs. Then in August of 1817 he became a student and secretary for Claude Henri de Rouvroy, Comte de Saint-Simon, who brought Comte into intellectual society. In 1824, Comte left Saint-Simon, again because of unbridgeable differences. Monarchism is the advocacy of the establishment, preservation, or restoration of a monarchy as a form of government in a nation. ... Henri de Saint-Simon Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon, often referred to as Henri de Saint-Simon (October 17, 1760 – May 19, 1825), the founder of French socialism, was born in Paris. ... 1824 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


Comte now knew what he wanted to do: work out the philosophy of positivism. This plan he published as Plan de travaux scientifiques nécessaires pour réorganiser la société (1822) (Plan of scientific studies necessary for the reorganization of society). But he failed to get an academic position. His day-to-day life depended on sponsors and financial help from friends. // Positivism is a philosophy developed by Auguste Comte (widely regarded as the first true sociologist) in the middle of the 19th century that stated that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge, and that such knowledge can only come from positive affirmation of theories through strict scientific method. ... 1822 (MDCCCXXII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


He married Caroline Massin, but divorced in 1842. In 1826 he was brought into a mental health hospital, but left it without being cured -- only stabilized by Massin -- so that he could work again on his plan. In the time between this and their divorce, he published the six volumes of his Cours. 1842 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... The oldest surviving photograph, Nicéphore Niépce, circa 1826 1826 (MDCCCXXVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


From 1844, Comte was involved with Clotilde de Vaux, a relationship that remained platonic. After her death in 1846 this love became quasi-religious, and Comte saw himself as founder and prophet of a new "religion of humanity". He published four volumes of Système de politique positive (1851 - 1854). Jan. ... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1851 (MDCCCLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... 1854 (MDCCCLIV) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


He died in Paris on September 5th, 1857 and is buried at the famous Cimetière du Père Lachaise. Looking down the hill at the Père-Lachaise cemetery The cimetière du Père-Lachaise (pronounced pierre la-sh-ez) is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris (there are larger cemeteries in Paris suburbs). ...


Legacy

The motto Ordem e Progresso ("Order and Progress") in the flag of Brazil is inspired by Auguste Comte's motto of positivism: L'amour pour principe et l'ordre pour base; le progrès pour but ("Love as a principle and order as the basis; Progress as the goal"). It was inserted due to the fact that several of the people involved in the military coup d'état that deposed the monarchy and proclaimed Brazil a republic were followers of the ideas of Comte.
The motto Ordem e Progresso ("Order and Progress") in the flag of Brazil is inspired by Auguste Comte's motto of positivism: L'amour pour principe et l'ordre pour base; le progrès pour but ("Love as a principle and order as the basis; Progress as the goal"). It was inserted due to the fact that several of the people involved in the military coup d'état that deposed the monarchy and proclaimed Brazil a republic were followers of the ideas of Comte.

One universal law that Comte saw at work in all sciences he called the 'law of three phases'. It is by his statement of this law that he is best known in the English-speaking world; namely, that society has gone through three phases: Theological, Metaphysical, and Scientific. To the last of these he also gave the name "Positive," because of the polysemous connotations of that word. Image File history File links Flag_of_Brazil. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Brazil. ... National flag and ensign. ... The Empire of Brazil is a political entity that comprised present-day Brazil under the rule of Emperors Pedro I and his son Pedro II. Founded in 1822, dissolved and replaced by a republic in 1889. ... The Federative Republic of Brazil (República Federativa do Brasil in Portuguese) is the largest and most populous country in South America- it is actually larger than mainland USA. Spanning a vast area between the central South America and the Atlantic Ocean, it borders Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia... For law within legal systems see law. ... In common usage positive is sometimes used in affirmation, as a synonym for yes or to express certainty. Look up Positive on Wiktionary, the free dictionary In mathematics, a number is called positive if it is bigger than zero. ... Polysemy (from the Greek πολυσημεία = multiple meaning) is the capacity for a sign or signs to have multiple meanings (sememes, i. ... For the more specialised meaning of Connotation in semiotics, see connotation (semiotics). ...


The Theological phase was seen from the perspective of 19th century France as preceding the Enlightenment, in which man's place in society and society's restrictions upon man were referenced to God. By the "Metaphysical" phase, he was not referring to the Metaphysics of Aristotle or any other ancient Greek philosopher, but for Comte was rooted in the problems of French society subsequent to the revolution of 1789. This Metaphysical phase involved the justification of universal rights as being on a vauntedly higher plane than the authority of any human ruler to countermand, although said rights were not referenced to the sacred beyond mere metaphor. What he announced by his term of the Scientific phase, which came into being after the failure of the revolution and of Napoleon, was that people could find solutions to social problems and bring them into force despite the proclamations of human rights or prophecy of the will of God. In this regard he was similar to Karl Marx and Jeremy Bentham. For its time, this idea of a Scientific phase was considered up-to-date, although from a later standpoint it is too derivative of classical physics and academic history. Theology is literally rational discourse concerning God (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογος, logos, rational discourse). By extension, it also refers to the study of other religious topics. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Age of Enlightenment (French: Siècle des Lumières, German: Aufklärung) refers to the eighteenth century in European and American philosophy, or the longer period including the Age of Reason. ... Plato and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome). ... Aristotle (Greek: AristotélÄ“s) (384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. ... The French Revolution (1789-1799) was a period of major political and social change in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based... 1789 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ... Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818, Trier, Germany – March 14, 1883, London) was a German philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary. ... Jeremy Bentham (IPA: or ) (February 15, 1748 O.S. (February 26, 1749 N.S.) – June 6, 1832) was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. ... Classical physics is physics based on principles developed before the rise of quantum theory, usually including the special theory of relativity and general theory of relativity. ... An academic history can mean a large, multivolume work such as the Cambridge Modern History, written collaboratively under some central editorial control. ...


The other universal law he called the 'encyclopedic law'. By combining these laws, Comte developed a systematic and hierarchical classification of all sciences, including inorganic physics (astronomy, earth science and chemistry) and organic physics (biology and for the first time, physique sociale, later renamed sociologie). A giant Hubble mosaic of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant Astronomy is the science of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earths atmosphere (such as auroras and cosmic background radiation). ... Earth science (also known as geoscience, the geosciences or the Earth Sciences), is an all-embracing term for the sciences related to the planet Earth. ... Chemistry - the study of atoms, made of nuclei (center particles) and electrons (outer particles), and the structures they form. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


This idea of a special science—not the humanities, not metaphysics—for the social was prominent in the 19th century and not unique to Comte. The ambitious—many would say grandiose—way that Comte conceived of it, however, was unique. Plato and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome). ...


Comte saw this new science, sociology, as the last and greatest of all sciences, one that would include all other sciences, and which would integrate and relate their findings into a cohesive whole. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Comte’s explanation of the Positive philosophy introduced the important relationship between theory, practice and human understanding of the world. On page 27 of the 1855 printing of Harriet Martineau’s translation of The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte, we see his observation that, “If it is true that every theory must be based upon observed facts, it is equally true that facts can not be observed without the guidance of some theory. Without such guidance, our facts would be desultory and fruitless; we could not retain them: for the most part we could not even perceive them. (Comte, A. (1974 reprint). The positive philosophy of Auguste Comte freely translated and condensed by Harriet Martineau. New York, NY: AMS Press. (Original work published in 1855, New York, NY: Calvin Blanchard, p. 27.) Harriet Martineau Harriet Martineau (June 12, 1802 - June 27, 1876) was an English writer and philosopher, renowned in her day as a controversial journalist, political economist, abolitionist and life-long feminist. ...


He coined the word "altruism" to refer to what he believed to be a moral obligation of individuals to serve others and place their interests above one's own. He opposed the idea of individual rights, maintaining that they were not consistent with this supposed ethical obligation (Catechisme Positiviste). Altruism is an ethical doctrine that holds that individuals have an ethical obligation to help, serve, or benefit others, if necessary at the sacrifice of self interest. ...


As already mentioned, Comte formulated the law of three stages, one of the first theories of the social evolutionism: that human development (social progress) progresses from the theological stage, in which nature was mythically conceived and man sought the explanation of natural phenomena from supernatural beings, through metaphysical stage in which nature was conceived of as a result of obscure forces and man sought the explanation of natural phenomena from them until the final positive stage in which all abstract and obscure forces are discarded, and natural phenomena are explained by their constant relationship. This progress is forced through the development of the human mind, and increasing application of thought, reasoning and logic to the understanding of the world. Law of three stages is a concept by Auguste Compte where he states that society as a whole and each particular science develops through three mentalistically conceived stages: the theocratic stage, the metaphysical stage, and the positive stage. ... Social Evolutionism is a athropological and sociological social theory that holds that societies progress through stages of increasing development, i. ... Social progress is defined as a progress of society, which makes the society better in the general view of its members. ... Theology (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογια, logia, words, sayings, or discourse) is reasoned discourse concerning religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... Plato and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome). ... // Positivism is a philosophy developed by Auguste Comte (widely regarded as the first true sociologist) in the middle of the 19th century that stated that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge, and that such knowledge can only come from positive affirmation of theories through strict scientific method. ...


In Comte's lifetime, his work was sometimes viewed skeptically because he had elevated Positivism to a religion and had named himself the Pope of Positivism. He coined the term "sociology" to denote the new science of society. He had earlier used the expression, "social physics," to refer to the positive science of society; but because others, notably the Belgian statistician Adolphe Quetelet, had begun to use that term in a different meaning, Comte felt the need to invent the neologism, "sociology," a hybrid of the Latin "socius" ("friend") and the Greek "λόγος" (logos, "word"). // Positivism is a philosophy developed by Auguste Comte (widely regarded as the first true sociologist) in the middle of the 19th century that stated that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge, and that such knowledge can only come from positive affirmation of theories through strict scientific method. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Young people interacting within an ethnically diverse society. ... Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quételet (February 22, 1796 – February 17, 1874) was a Belgian astronomer, mathematician, statistician and sociologist. ... A neologism (from Greek νεολογισμός νέος [neos] = new; λόγος [logos] = word) is a word, term, or phrase which has been recently created (coined) — often to apply to new concepts, to synthesize pre-existing concepts, or to make older terminology sound more contemporary. ... A word that has one part derived from one language and another part derived from a different language is etymologically called hybrid. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...


Comte is generally regarded as the first Western sociologist (Ibn Khaldun having preceded him in the East by nearly four centuries). Comte's emphasis on the interconnectedness of social elements was a forerunner of modern functionalism. Nevertheless, as with many others of Comte's time, certain elements of his work are now viewed as eccentric and unscientific, and his grand vision of sociology as the centerpiece of all the sciences has not come to fruition. Ibn Khaldūn (May 27, 1332/732AH to March 19, 1406/808AH) was a famous historiographer and historian born in present-day Tunisia, and is sometimes viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics. ... The article is about functionalism in sociology; for other uses, see functionalism. ...


His emphasis on a quantitative, mathematical basis for decision-making remains with us today. It is a foundation of the modern notion of Positivism, modern quantitative statistical analysis, and business decision-making. His description of the continuing cyclical relationship between theory and practice is seen in modern business systems of Total Quality Management and Continuous Quality Improvement where advocates describe a continuous cycle of theory and practice through the four-part cycle of plan, do, check, and act. Despite his advocacy of quantitative analysis, Comte saw a limit in its ability to help explain social phenomena.


Three Stages

"Each department of knowledge passes through three stages. The theological stage; the metaphysical or abstract stage, and positive stage" -Comte

  1. Theological Stage
    1. Fetishism
    2. Polytheism
    3. Monotheism
  2. Metaphysical or Abstract Stage
  3. Positive Stage

See also

The positivist calendar was a proposal for calendar reform proposed by Auguste Comte in 1849. ... Calendar reform is any proposed reform of a calendar. ...

Bibliography

  • Henri Gouhier, La vie d'Auguste Comte, Gallimard, 1931 ;
  • Jean Delvolvé, Réflexions sur la pensée comtienne, Félix Alcan, 1932 ;
  • Laurent Fedi, Comte, Les Belles Lettres, 2000, réédition 2005 ;
  • Laurent Fedi, L’organicisme de Comte, in Auguste Comte aujourd’hui, M. Bourdeau, J.-F. Braunstein, A. Petit (dir), Kimé, 2003, pp. 111-132 ;
  • Laurent Fedi, Auguste Comte, la disjonction de l’idéologie et de l’Etat, Cahiers philosophiques, n°94, 2003, pp. 99-110 ;
  • Laurent Fedi, Le monde clos contre l’univers infini : Auguste Comte et les enjeux humains de l’astronomie, La Mazarine, n°13, juin 2000, pp. 12-15 ;
  • Laurent Fedi, La contestation du miracle grec chez Auguste Comte, in L’Antiquité grecque au XIXè siècle : un exemplum contesté ?, C. Avlami (dir.), L’Harmattan, 2000, pp. 157-192 ;
  • Laurent Fedi, Auguste Comte et la technique, Revue d’histoire des sciences 53/2, 1999, pp. 265-293 ;
  • Henri Gouhier, La jeunesse d'Auguste Comte et la formation du positivisme, tome 1 : sous le signe de la liberté, Vrin, 1932 ;
  • Henri Gouhier, La jeunesse d'Auguste Comte et la formation du positivisme, tome 2 : Saint-Simon jusqu'à la restauration, Vrin ;
  • Henri Gouhier, La jeunesse d'Auguste Comte et la formation du positivisme, tome 3 : Auguste Comte et Saint-Simon, Vrin, 1941 ;
  • Henri Gouhier, Oeuvres choisies avec introduction et notes, Aubier, 1941 ;
  • Georges Canguilhem, « Histoire des religions et histoire des sciences dans la théorie du fétichisme chez Auguste Comte », Études d'histoire et de philosophie des sciences, Vrin, 1968 ;
  • H.S. Jones, ed., Comte: Early Political Writings, Cambridge University Press, 1998;
  • Angèle Kremer-Marietti, Auguste Comte et la théorie sociale du positivisme, Seghers, 1972 ;
  • Angèle Kremer-Marietti, Auguste Comte, la science sociale, Gallimard, 1972 ;
  • Angèle Kremer-Marietti, Le projet anthropologique d'Auguste Comte, SEDES, 1980, réédition L'Harmattan, 1999 ;
  • Angèle Kremer-Marietti, L'anthropologie positiviste d'Auguste Comte, Lib. Honoré Champion, 1980 ;
  • Angèle Kremer-Marietti, Entre le signe et l'histoire. L'anthropologie positiviste d'Auguste Comte, Klincksieck, 1982, réédition L'Harmattan,1999 ;
  • Angèle Kremer-Marietti, Le positivisme, Coll."Que sais-je?", PUF, 1982 ;
  • Angèle Kremer-Marietti, Le concept de science positive. Ses tenants et ses aboutissants dans les structures anthropologiques du positivisme, Méridiens Klincksieck, 1983 ;
  • Angèle Kremer-Marietti, Le positivisme d'Auguste Comte, L'Harmattan, 2006 ;
  • Angèle Kremer-Marietti, Auguste Comte et la science politique, in Auguste Comte, Plan des travaux scientifiques nécessaires pour réorganiserla société, L'Harmattan, 2001;
  • Angèle Kremer-Marietti, L'humanisme entre positivisme et nihilisme in L'Art du Comprendre , 2006, N°15.
  • Angèle Kremer-Marietti, Auguste Comte et l'histoire générale, in Auguste Comte, Sommaire appréciation de l'ensemble du passé moderne, L'Harmattan, 2006 ;
  • Pierre Macherey, Comte. La philosophie et les sciences, PUF, 1989 ;
  • Gertrud Lenzer, Auguste Comte: Essential Writings (1975), New York Harper, Paperback, 1997 ;
  • Raquel Capurro, Le positivisme est un culte des morts : Auguste Comte, Epel, 1999 (traduit en français en 2001) : l'étude la plus récente sur la vie d'Auguste Comte, la vision sans complaisance d'une psychanalyste de l'école de Lacan ;
  • Auguste Comte, Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte, Part I (1855), translated by Harriet Martineau, Kessinger Publishing, Paperback, 2003 ; Also available from the McMaster Archive for the History of Economic Thought, Volume One Volume Two Volume Three
  • Pierre Laffitte (1823-1903): Autour d'un centenaire, in Revue des Sciences et des Techniques en perspective, 2ème série, vol. 8, n°2, 2004, Brepols Publishers, 2005 ;
  • Zeïneb Ben Saïd Cherni, Auguste Comte, postérité épistémologique et ralliement des nations, L'Harmattan, 2005 ;
  • Mary Pickering, Auguste Comte: An Intellectual Biography, Cambridge University Press (1993), Paperback, 2006 ;

Henri Gouhier (December 5, 1898 - March 31, 1994) was a French philosopher, a historian of philosophy, and a literary critic. ... Henri Gouhier (December 5, 1898 - March 31, 1994) was a French philosopher, a historian of philosophy, and a literary critic. ... Henri Gouhier (December 5, 1898 - March 31, 1994) was a French philosopher, a historian of philosophy, and a literary critic. ... Henri Gouhier (December 5, 1898 - March 31, 1994) was a French philosopher, a historian of philosophy, and a literary critic. ... Henri Gouhier (December 5, 1898 - March 31, 1994) was a French philosopher, a historian of philosophy, and a literary critic. ... Georges Canguilhem (Castelnaudary 1904-1995) was a French philosopher and member of the Coll̬ge de France, who specialized in the philosophy of science. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Pierre Macherey (b. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Jacques Lacan Jacques Lacan (April 13, 1901 РSeptember 9, 1981) was an influential French psychoanalyst as well as a structuralist who based much of his theories on Ferdinand de Saussures theories on language. ... 1855 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ...

External links

  • Find-A-Grave profile for Auguste Comte
  • Positivist Church of Brazil
  • Auguste Comte and Positivism
  • The Three Cs and the Notion of Progress: Copernicus, Condorcet, Comte by Caspar J M Hewett

  Results from FactBites:
 
Auguste Comte (514 words)
Comte was known as an arrogant, violent and fiery man. In 1826 he was brought into an mental health hospital, but left it without being cured -- only stabilized by Massin -- so that he could work again on his plan.
Comte saw this new science, sociology, as the last and greatest of all sciences, one that would include all other sciences, and which would integrate and relate their findings into a cohesive whole.
Comte coined the term "sociology", is usually regarded as the first sociologist, and his emphasis on the interconnectedness of different social elements was a forerunner of modern functionalism.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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