Auguste Comte

Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte (French: [oˈɡyst kɔ̃t] (listen); 19 January 1798 – 5 September 1857)[6] was a French philosopher, mathematician and writer who formulated the doctrine of positivism. He is often regarded as the first philosopher of science in the modern sense of the term.[7] Comte's ideas were also fundamental to the development of sociology; indeed, he invented the term and treated that discipline as the crowning achievement of the sciences.[8]

Auguste Comte
Comte in 1849
Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte

(1798-01-19)19 January 1798
Died5 September 1857(1857-09-05) (aged 59)
Caroline Massin
(m. 1825; div. 1842)
Era19th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
Notable ideas
Encyclopedic law
Hierarchy of the sciences
Law of three stages
Positivist calendar
Religion of Humanity
Sociological positivism

Influenced by Henri de Saint-Simon,[6] Comte's work attempted to remedy the social disorder caused by the French Revolution, which he believed indicated imminent transition to a new form of society. He sought to establish a new social doctrine based on science, which he labelled positivism. He had a major impact on 19th-century thought, influencing the work of social thinkers such as John Stuart Mill and George Eliot.[9] His concept of Sociologie and social evolutionism set the tone for early social theorists and anthropologists such as Harriet Martineau and Herbert Spencer, evolving into modern academic sociology presented by Émile Durkheim as practical and objective social research.

Comte's social theories culminated in his "Religion of Humanity",[6] which presaged the development of non-theistic religious humanist and secular humanist organisations in the 19th century. He may also have coined the word altruisme (altruism).[10]

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