Best Known For:
- Founder of positivism
- Coined the term sociology
- His emphasis on systematic observation and social order
Early Life and Education:
Career and Later Life:
From 1832 to 1842 Comte was a tutor and then an examiner at the revived École Polytechnique. He then quarreled with the directors of the school and lost his post. During the remainder of his life he was supported by English admirers and by French disciples. In 1842 Comte separated from his wife and in 1845 he had a profound relationship with Clotilde de Vaux, whom he idolized. She died the following year and after her death, Comte devoted himself to writing another major work, the four-volume System of Positive Polity, in which he completed his formulation of sociology.
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.
- The Course on Positive Philosophy (1830-1842)
- Discourse on the Positive Sprit (1844)
- A General View of Positivism (1848)
- Religion of Humanity (1856)
Bourdeau, M. "Auguste Comte." The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2011/entries/comte/.
Auguste Comte. (2011). Biography.com. http://www.biography.com/articles/Auguste-Comte-9254680
Johnson, A. (1995). The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers.