Auguste Comte

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More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
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Social positivism only accepts duties, for all and towards all. Its constant social viewpoint cannot include any notion of rights, for such notion always rests on individuality.

Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte (17 January 17985 September 1857) was a French philosopher who coined the terms "sociology" and "altruism".

Sourced

  • To understand a science it is necessary to know its history.
    • A Course of Positive Philosophy (1832 - 1842) [Six volumes]
  • Social positivism only accepts duties, for all and towards all. Its constant social viewpoint cannot include any notion of rights, for such notion always rests on individuality. We are born under a load of obligations of every kind, to our predecessors, to our successors, to our contemporaries. These obligations then increase or accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service. ... Any human right is therefore as absurd as immoral. Since there are no divine rights anymore, this concept must therefore disappear completely as related only to the preliminary regime and totally inconsistent with the final state where there are only duties based on functions.
    • Le Catéchisme positiviste (1852)
  • Men are not allowed to think freely about chemistry and biology: why should they be allowed to think freely about political philosophy?
    • As quoted in A Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (1991) by Alan Lindsay Mackay
  • Foreknowledge is power.
    • As quoted in A Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (1991) by Alan Lindsay Mackay

The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte (1853)

The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte Freely Translated and Condensed by Harriet Martineau in Two Volumes (1853) - (1896 edition in the Cornell University Library Historical Monographs Collection)
  • After Montesquieu, the next great addition to Sociology (which is the term I may be allowed to invent to designate Social Physics) was made by Condorcet, proceeding on the views suggested by his illustrious friend Turgot.
    • Book VI: Social Physics, Ch. II: Principle Philosophical Attempts to Constitute a Social System
  • The mathematical thermology created by Fourier may tempt us to hope that, as he has estimated the temperature of the space in which we move, me may in time ascertain the mean temperature of the heavenly bodies: but I regard this order of facts as for ever excluded from our recognition. We can never learn their internal constitution, nor, in regard to some of them, how heat is absorbed by their atmosphere. We may therefore define Astronomy as the science by which we discover the laws of the geometrical and mechanical phenomena presented by the heavenly bodies.
    • Book II: Astronomy, Ch. I: General View

Unsourced

  • The dead govern the living.

Quotes about Comte

  • Catholicism minus Christianity.
  • M. Comte, in particular, whose social system, as unfolded in his Systeme de Politique Positive, aims at establishing (though by moral more than by legal appliances) a despotism of society over the individual, surpassing anything contemplated in the political ideal of the most rigid disciplinarian among the ancient philosophers.

External links

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