Sociology Index

Auguste Comte

Among distinguished sociologists, Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier Comte, was known as Auguste Comte. The discipline of sociology and of the doctrine of positivism were enriched by Auguste Comte. Positive philosophy was an attempt by Auguste Comte to undo the social malaise of the French revolution with the help of a new social doctrine. Auguste Comte coined the word "altruism" and his social theories influenced the development of religious humanist and secular humanist organizations. According to Auguste Comte, society through the division of labour, became complex, differentiated and specialized. "Religion of Humanity" presaged the development of non-theistic religious humanist and secular humanist organizations in the 19th century. The division of labour generated new social divisions between classes and between the private and public domains. Auguste Comte's works include four volumes of Système de politique positive and the first volume of La Synthèse Subjective (The Subjective Synthesis).

Wallace and Wolf trace the development of structural functionalism to Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, and David Emile Durkheim. Auguste Comte considered "Anthropology, or true science of Man, the last gradation in the Grand Hierarchy of Abstract Science." The idea of a special science for the social was prominent in the 19th century and not unique to Auguste Comte.

August Comte is also considered one of the first philosophers of science and one of the first positivists ‘ all of which is a pretty big burden for one man to bear. It has recently been discovered that the term "sociology" had already been introduced in 1780 with a different meaning, by the French essayist Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès (1748–1836). The ambitious way that Auguste Comte conceived of special science of the social was unique. Auguste Comte saw this new science, sociology, as the last and greatest of all sciences, one which would include all other sciences and integrate and relate their findings into a cohesive whole. It has to be pointed out that he noted a seventh science, one even greater than sociology.