Comte, Auguste

French philosopher and social theorist. Born in Montpellier, France, Comte was educated at the École Polytechnique, and became Secretary to Saint-Simon in 1817; after 1826 he supported himself by teaching mathematics and giving private lectures. He believed that human society goes through stages such as the theological/military, and the scientific/industrial, as well as a transitional or metaphysical stage, which was where he conceived the Europe of his own time to be. He also delineated three stages, the theological, the metaphysical, and the positive, in the evolution of each science. Against the rationalism of Descartes he believed that each science has its own method, and that its development is contingent on the historical level which it has achieved; Comte therefore stands as a figurehead for thinkers who value the historical and empirical study of science above an a priori or rationalistic attempt to dictate the way sciences ought to be. Although Comte is regarded as the founder of positivism, in his hands it had less to do with empiricism, than with a positive, i.e. affirmative, attitude to the study of social relations: it was Comte who coined the term ‘sociology’. After his six-volume Cours de philosophie positive (1830–42, trs. and condensed by Harriet Martineau as The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte, 2 vols., 1853), Comte suffered a nervous breakdown, although he also managed to write the four-volume Système de politique positive (1851–4, trs. as The System of Positive Polity, 1875–7). In his later years he devoted his efforts to establishing a religion of humanity, with a calendar of saints including Adam Smith, Frederick the Great, and himself as Pope.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • Comte, Auguste — ▪ French philosopher Introduction in full  Isidore auguste marie françois xavier Comte  born January 19, 1798, Montpellier, France died September 5, 1857, Paris  French philosopher known as the founder of sociology and of Positivism. Comte gave… …   Universalium

  • Comte, Auguste — (1798 1857) A French social theorist who coined the term ‘sociology’. After studying the natural sciences at the École Polytechnique in Paris, Comte became Henri Saint Simon s secretary in 1817. In the course of what proved to be a somewhat… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • COMTE, AUGUSTE —    a French philosopher, born at Montpellier, the founder of POSITIVISM (q.v.); enough to say here, it consisted of a new arrangement of the sciences into Abstract and Concrete, and a new law of historical evolution in science from a theological… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Comte, Auguste — ► (1798 1857) Filósofo y sociólogo francés, fundador del positivismo y creador de la sociología. Las bases de su filosofía proceden de su interés por el progreso y el desarrollo del conocimiento. Para explicarlo formuló la ley de los tres… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • COMTE, Auguste — (1798 1857)    French POSITIVIST philosopher and one of the founders of SOCIOLOGY. His major work is The System of Positive Policy (1875 1877 4 Vols.) …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Comte — Comte, Auguste …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Comte — Comte, Auguste …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Comte — Comte, Auguste …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Auguste Comte — Philosophe français XIXe siècle Lithographie de Comte par Tony Touillon …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Auguste Comte — Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte (* 19. Januar 1798 in Montpellier; † 5. September 1857 in Paris) war ein französischer Mathematiker, Philosoph und Religionskritiker. Vor allem ist er jedoch als einer der Mitbegründer der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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