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Auguste Comte Auguste Comte — first described the epistemological perspective of positivism in The Course in Positive Philosophya series of texts published between and The first three volumes of the Course dealt chiefly with the physical sciences already in existence mathematicsastronomyphysicschemistrybiologywhereas the latter two emphasized the inevitable coming of social science.
Observing the circular dependence of theory and observation in science, and classifying the sciences in this way, Comte may be regarded as the first philosopher of science in the modern sense of the term. His View of Positivism therefore set out to define the empirical goals of sociological method.
This Comte accomplished by taking as the criterion of the position of each the degree of what he called "positivity," which is simply the degree to which the phenomena can be exactly determined.
This, as may be readily seen, is also a measure of their relative complexity, since the exactness of a science is in inverse proportion to its complexity. The degree of exactness or positivity is, moreover, that to which it can be subjected to mathematical demonstration, and therefore mathematics, which is not itself a concrete science, is the general gauge by which the position of every science is to be determined.
Generalizing thus, Comte found that there were five great groups of phenomena of equal classificatory Critical essay lens outline but of successively decreasing positivity. To these he gave the names astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, and sociology.
WardThe Outlines of Sociology Comte offered an account of social evolutionproposing that society undergoes three phases in its quest for the truth according to a general " law of three stages ". The idea bears some similarity to Marx 's belief that human society would progress toward a communist peak see dialectical materialism.
Comte intended to develop a secular-scientific ideology in the wake of European secularisation. Comte's stages were 1 the theological2 the metaphysicaland 3 the positive.
God, Comte says, had reigned supreme over human existence pre- Enlightenment. Humanity's place in society was governed by its association with the divine presences and with the church.
The theological phase deals with humankind's accepting the doctrines of the church or place of worship rather than relying on its rational powers to explore basic questions about existence. It dealt with the restrictions put in place by the religious organization at the time and the total acceptance of any "fact" adduced for society to believe.
This second phase states that the universal rights of humanity are most important. The central idea is that humanity is invested with certain rights that must be respected. In this phase, democracies and dictators rose and fell in attempts to maintain the innate rights of humanity.
The central idea of this phase is that individual rights are more important than the rule of any one person. Comte stated that the idea of humanity's ability to govern itself makes this stage inherently different from the rest.
There is no higher power governing the masses and the intrigue of any one person can achieve anything based on that individual's free will. The third principle is most important in the positive stage. Neither the second nor the third phase can be reached without the completion and understanding of the preceding stage.
All stages must be completed in progress. The idea of progress was central to Comte's new science, sociology. Sociology would "lead to the historical consideration of every science" because "the history of one science, including pure political history, would make no sense unless it was attached to the study of the general progress of all of humanity".
The irony of this series of phases is that though Comte attempted to prove that human development has to go through these three stages, it seems that the positivist stage is far from becoming a realization. This is due to two truths: The positivist phase requires having a complete understanding of the universe and world around us and requires that society should never know if it is in this positivist phase.
Anthony Giddens argues that since humanity constantly uses science to discover and research new things, humanity never progresses beyond the second metaphysical phase. As an approach to the philosophy of historypositivism was appropriated by historians such as Hippolyte Taine.
Many of Comte's writings were translated into English by the Whig writer, Harriet Martineauregarded by some as the first female sociologist.Best write my essay service that guarantees timely delivery.
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