Auguste Comte

Picture of Auguste Comte

Date of Birth: 01/19/1798

Age: 59

Place of birth: Montpellier

Citizenship: France


Isidore Auguste Marie Francois Xavier Comte was born in Montpellier, January 19, 1798 in the family of a tax officer, distinguished commitment to Catholicism and the monarchy. He was educated at the Lycee at Montpellier. In 1814 he entered the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris - nursery research enthusiasts. The whole life of Comte has been associated with this school. When the school was temporarily closed in 1816 due to suspicion of distributing republican ideas, he directed his efforts to the study of mathematics and other sciences, studied the writings of political economists and historians of his time. In 1817 Comte became secretary eccentric social reformer A.Sen Simon, have had a significant impact; however, the strength of this effect is still disputed by students of both. Comte had broken with Saint-Simon in 1824 and subsequently did not get tired to vilify him at every opportunity.

The main ideas of his six-volume masterpiece future course of Positive Philosophy (Cours de philosophie positive, 1830-1842) Comte was going to present a series of lectures in front of a select audience in Paris in 1826, but after the first two lectures of his nervous strength exhausted, and the course had to be interrupted. Apparently, Comte never fully recovered from the disease, and in the following years led a strange life, possessed by fixed ideas. The second major work of his life, four volumes System positive policies (Syst me de politique positive, ou Trait de sociologie instituant la religion de l`humanit, 1851-1854), - one of the most confusing of work in the history of philosophy. Although many of his former students, such as Dzh.S.Mill, claimed that the late Comte mysticism differs sharply from rationality, which is inherent in its course, other equally eminent scientists saw already know all the symptoms evident in the positive policy. In 1829, Conte once again tried to read will enjoy a series of lectures, this time successfully. The following years were devoted to the creation of a course of positive philosophy, and then the system of positive politics.

In 1832-1845 Conte made a living by working as a teacher and examiner in mathematics at the Ecole Polytechnique. Deprived of this capacity, he lived the rest of his life at the expense of their English learners (with which it brought JS Mill). After the death of his wife, the only romantic passion in life was the Comte in 1844 Clotilde de Vaux, who after her death from tuberculosis in 1846 was deified according to Comte`s "religion of humanity". Conte died in Paris on September 5, 1857.

Philosophy. The most well-known theory of Comte, at least in part borrowed from Saint-Simon and Turgot (1750), it is - the famous "law of three stages", applicable, according to Comte, the history of civilization, and each of the individuals Sciences. For the first, or the theological stage characterized fetishism: what is happening is due to the influence of supernatural powers, gods and spirits. The second, or metaphysical, is a transitional stage, the place of the supernatural intrudes agents as the cause of abstract agents, such as "ideas", "power" and "the essence of the past." On the third or positive, stage - in which is believed to Comte, European civilization is only beginning to enter - the mind is convinced of the futility of any research into the causes and essences. A man is taken for observation of phenomena and descriptive wording of laws (or the coordination of phenomena); he is interested not why things happen, but only as they occur. The hallmark of positive knowledge is its ability to make successful predictions in certain granitsahsozdavat ability to control the course of events.

Theological stage is inherent belief in the absolute power and the divine right of kings, it is associated with social order militaristic type in which dominated the class warriors. In the metaphysical stage, the power of kings and priests is replaced by the rule of law. Finally, on a positive stage is the development of industrial society.

According to Comte, science has entered a positive phase, whereas the social sciences far behind him. The need for "social physics" in which people would have the same value, which is an atom in physics or a planet - in astronomy, but it would take its place in the process of determination, a well-defined and unambiguous. Comte proposed to call this the science of sociology of society. Sociology can also act as a science, which is the synthesis of all other areas of knowledge, which has a practical purpose - the reorganization of society on the basis of the received knowledge of it. Comte also belongs to the division of sociology to social statics and social dynamics, which is the basic concept of "progress".

A great place in numerous writings Comte takes the classification of sciences according to the law of the three stages ( "hierarchy of sciences"). Science has on decreasing generality and increasing complexity in the following order: mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, physiology (or biology), social physics (or sociology); later to this list ethics has been added, under which the Comte meant more social psychology in the modern sense of the word.

Political Views. Because of the links in the early period with Saint-Simon, and due to popular reckoning to the Saint-Simonian socialists wing Comte often mistakenly believe either liberal or socialist. In fact, he was an extreme reactionary. Two months before his death, he wrote: "From my youth I always preferred the government, not the opposition." Comte entirely rejected the ideals of the French Revolution and considered "the rule of the people hoax in the name of repression and equality - a lie unworthy." Even Napoleon III he perceived as a dangerous left-wing activist. Picturing the future of society, Comte believed that freedom of thought is as useless to the citizens of his "dictatorship of positivist", however it is useless for the astronomer or physicist in charge of registration of scientific data. Power must belong to scientists and philosophers-positivists and fundamental reality and value of public life should be humanity rather than an individual with his selfish interests. The highest form of morality is love for humanity and his service in the place of God positivism puts "Supreme Being