Please give a summary of Auguste Comte's thought.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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First, we must realize that August Comte wrote a great deal about a large number of subjects.  Therefore, we cannot simply summarize all of his thought.  Let us look, then, at the most important aspect of Comte’s thought.  Comte is best known for his development of the idea of positivism.

Comte’s idea of positivism held that science held the key to human society.  He believed that all human behavior could be studied and understood scientifically.  This led to his creation of the field of sociology.  Comte believed that sociologists could study human societies in a scientific way and thereby find the objectively perfect way to set up society.  Comte’s ideas were accepted by many people in the last half of the 19th century. 

The main aspect of Comte’s thought, then, is the idea of positivism and his desire to use it to create an optimal human society.


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