Auguste Comte – the founder of sociology, as an independent science, as well as the founder of positivism.
Childhood and youth
Auguste Comte was born in the south of France, in Montpellier, Hérault. His parents were Louis and Rosalia Comte. He studied at the Lyceum of Joffre and at the University of Montpellier. With the outbreak of the French Revolution, he deeply felt the ideas of republicanism. In 1814 he entered the Polytechnic School of Paris. When in 1816 the institution was closed for reorganization, he went to study at a medical school in Montpellier.
Not having received a complete education, Comte settled in Paris. There he lived on earnings from lessons in mathematics and journalism, which he gave, at the same time intensively studying the economy, history and philosophy. In 1817, he met Henri Saint-Simon, a social theorist, after which he became his secretary and co-author. Their cooperation ended in 1924 because of disagreements that arose on the basis of a dispute over the right of authorship.
In April 1826, Comte began to give lectures that were part of the course of positivism. Among his listeners were famous scientists Fourier and Poinsot. Because of health problems, he could not finish the course, and was able to return to reading only in 1829. Later, Comte wrote six volumes of this course with the title “The Course of Positive Philosophy.” The work was published from 1830 to 1842.
Inspired by the ideas of the Jacobian Club, Comte founded the Positive Society. His book with the title “General view of positivism” appeared almost at the same time.
From 1851 to 1854, Comte wrote four volumes of the book Positive Policy System. For several months in 1852 he devoted the work “Positive Catechism”.
In 1855 he published the book “Appeal to the Conservatives”, after which he published the first volume of the next book entitled “Subjective Synthesis,” which is a philosophical book on mathematics.
Auguste Comte wrote six volumes of the “Course of Positive Philosophy” between 1830 and 1842. In these books he writes about mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry and biology, pointing to the historical and theoretical commonality of these sciences.
From 1851 to 1854 he published four volumes of the “Positive Policy System.” In this book, he shares his unique views on democracy.
Personal life and heritage
Auguste Comte married his concubine, Caroline Massen, in 1824. Due to financial problems, the marriage was not successful, and the couple divorced in 1842. Since 1844, Comte had a platonic relationship with Clotilde de Vaud.
Comte died because of stomach cancer and was buried in the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris. In the apartment in which he lived from 1841 to 1857, everything was preserved in the state in which it was during the life of Comte, and then there was created a private museum.
His work had a huge impact on Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill and George Eliot. And his ideas of social evolutionism had an unusually strong impact on the development of modern sociology.
Auguste Comte, being a well-known philosopher, enrolled in a psychiatric hospital in 1826, but left it without being fully healed. And the next year he tried to commit suicide.