Who was Auguste Comte, and what were some of his theories?

Auguste Comte was a French philosopher in the nineteenth century who is known for founding sociology and positivism. He theorized that external social forces define human behavior and that the study of society should thus employ a scientific approach. He’s also famous for the “the law of three stages,” in which he theorized a common pattern to humanity’s intellectual development, and for classifying the scientific disciplines.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Auguste Comte was a nineteenth-century French philosopher who founded the field of sociology as well as the positivism movement. Comte theorized that if the systematic methods applied in scientific fields were also applied to evaluating society, then true social order could be achieved.

One of his most famous theories was “the law of three stages.” This was a general theory of history and social progress. This “law” stated that humanity goes from a theological stage to a metaphysical stage to a positive stage. It essentially stated that...

(The entire section contains 250 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on