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Lifeboat Ethics Summary



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    A French philosopher his name is Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier Comte who was a founder of the discipline of sociology and of the doctrine of positivism. Also, sometimes regarded as the first philosopher of science in the modern sense of the term. He defined sociology as a positive science. In 1826 Comte began a series of lectures on his “system of positive philosophy” for a private audience, but he soon suffered a serious nervous breakdown. He was hospitalized and later recovered with the help of his wife, Caroline Massin, whom he married in 1824.

    He resumed teaching the course in January 1829, marking the beginning of a second period in Comte’s life that lasted 13 years. During this time he published the six volumes of the Course between 1830 and 1842. Positivism is the search for “invariant laws of the natural and social world. ” He defined three basic methods for discovering these invariant laws, observation, experimentation, and comparison. He is also famous for his Law of the Three Stages. These three stages are the theological is nature has a will of it’s own, this stage is broken down into three stages of its own, including animism, polytheism, and monotheism.

    Metaphysical is though substituting ideas for a personal will. Positivist is a search for absolute knowledge. Comte discussed the difference between social statistics and social dynamics; which have been renamed social structure and social change. Comte’s ideas have had a major role in developing structural functionalism. His major goal was to integrate theory and practice. When Auguste Comte claimed to have invented the new science of sociology, he said that it was going to be the science that held all other sciences together.

    As in the course of Positive Philosophy, he said that a science must depend on the previous science to be understood. Though Comte did not originate the concept of sociology or its area of study, he greatly extended and elaborated the field. Comte divided sociology into two main fields, or branches: social statics, or the study of the forces that hold society together; and social dynamics, or the study of the causes of social change. While the concept of sociology was around before Comte, he is credited with coining the term sociology.

    Lifeboat Ethics Summary. (2016, Oct 01). Retrieved from

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