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Auguste Comte and Positivism

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By: (1806-1873)

In "Auguste Comte and Positivism" by John Stuart Mill, the author provides a comprehensive analysis of the philosophy of positivism as developed by Auguste Comte. Mill delves into the intricacies of Comte's thought, exploring his views on the nature of science, society, and religion.

Mill presents a nuanced and balanced evaluation of Comte's positivist philosophy, highlighting both its strengths and limitations. He critiques Comte's rejection of metaphysical speculation and his emphasis on empirical observation and scientific method. Mill also assesses the social and ethical implications of positivism, examining Comte's ideas on social progress, morality, and the role of religion in society.

Throughout the book, Mill engages with Comte's ideas in a rigorous and thought-provoking manner, offering readers a deeper understanding of positivism and its significance in the history of philosophy. His clear and insightful analysis makes this book a valuable resource for anyone interested in the intellectual history of positivism and the influence of Comte's thought on modern philosophy.

Book Description:
Part 1 lays out the framework for Positivism as originated in France by Auguste Comte in his Cours de Philosophie Positive. Mill examines the tenets of Comte's movement and alerts us to defects. Part 2 concerns all Comte's writings except the Cours de Philosophie Positive. During Comte's later years he gave up reading newspapers and periodicals to keep his mind pure for higher study. He also became enamored of a certain woman who changed his view of life. Comte turned his philosophy into a religion, with morality the supreme guide. Mill finds that Comte learned to despise science and the intellect, instead substituting his frantic need for the regulation of change.

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