Biography of Auguste Comte, father of positivism

Biography of Auguste Comte, father of positivism

Auguste Comte He was the father of positivism and the first theorist who began to speak of the term "sociology." His work was closely linked to Saint-Simon, at first, but it ended up varying until it was something completely different, even opposite in some terms.

He was born on January 19, 1798 in Montpellier and since childhood he was always interested in matters related to philosophy. After completing his studies in 1817, he began to work as secretary of the Count Henri de Saint-Simon.

With the, Comte expanded his knowledge of philosophy and about the world around him but after 7 years, he decided that it was time to break definitively with the influence of the French thinker and start a stage of his own.

Between 1830 and 1842, Comte passed a stage of separation and rupture in front of the ideas of Saint-Simon.

To do this, he worked on his work entitled “Positive philosophy course”. It was a treatise in which he elaborated his own particular philosophy, which he presented as a philosophy of science.

On the one hand, Comte classified the sciences according to an increasing order of complexity and, on the other, formulated the law of the history of the human spirit, also known as the “three state law”.

The Law of the Three Estates of Comte

Those three states were:

  • Theological
  • Metaphysical
  • Positive

For the philosopher, they were all successive and constituted three distinct stages of the development of the human spirit.

Comte claimed that only the positive spirit represented a true mutation of the spirit, both in the object of the investigation and in the method.

So, positivism consisted in applying the methods used in mathematics and in the experimental sciences to social and political phenomena.

In this way, the laws that governed the structure and development of societies could be extracted.

The theories postulated by Auguste Comte they thus created a social physics, what he baptized as "sociology”And that was classified among the experimental sciences.

The requirement of the philosopher was to carry out a reform of humanity that had an order more in accordance with human aspirations. These ideas were formulated above all in "The positivist political system"In 1854 and in"The positivist catechism”In 1852.

Shortly before his death, his work led to a “religion of humanity”And Comte became the high priest.

Finally, on September 5, 1857, he died in Paris, leaving behind a considerable philosophical legacy.

The most remarkable aspect of your positivism is that it influenced many of the social movements that hit Europe during the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved History and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.


Video: Introduction to Sociology Auguste Comte