Auguste comte - Positivism


Auguste Comte

The French philosopher Auguste Comte (1798–1857)—often called the “father of sociology”—first used the term “sociology” in 1838 to refer to the scientific study of society. He believed that all societies develop and progress through the following stages:

  • Religious
  • metaphysical
  • scientific

Comte argued that society needs scientific knowledge based on facts and evidence to solve its problems—not speculation and superstition, which characterize the religious and metaphysical stages of social development. Comte viewed the science of sociology as consisting of two branches:

  • Dynamic - the study of the processes by which societies change;
  • Statics- the study of the processes by which societies endure

He also envisioned sociologists as eventually developing a base of scientific social knowledge that would guide society into positive directions.


Positivism describes an approach to the study of society that specifically utilizes scientific evidence such as experiments, statistics, and qualitative results to reveal a truth about the way society functions. It is based on the assumption that it's possible to observe social life and establish reliable knowledge about its inner workings.

Positivism also argues that sociology should concern itself only with what can be observed with the senses and that theories of social life should be built in a


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