Auguste Comte and Positivism

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N. Trübner, 1866 - Positivism - 200 pages
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Insofar as John Stuart Mill's two essays on Auguste Comte have any interest at all, it pertains to their author rather than their subject. From a modern perspective Mill is surprisingly enthusiastic ... Read full review

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Page 94 - ... fragment of the business of society, is not without inconveniences, as well moral as intellectual, which, if they could not be remedied, would be a serious abatement from the benefits of advanced civilization.
Page 102 - Ideas do not govern and overthrow the world ; the world is governed or overthrown by feelings, to which ideas serve only as guides.
Page 72 - Mr. Spencer is one of the most vigorous as well as boldest thinkers that English speculation has yet produced.
Page 64 - We know of our observings and our reasonings, either at the very time, or by memory the moment after; in either case, by direct knowledge, and not (like things done by us in a state of somnambulism) merely by their results. This simple fact destroys the whole of M. Comte's argument. 'Whatever we are directly aware of, we can directly observe.
Page 115 - ... the opinions of the past. He accords with generous recognition the gratitude due to all who, with whatever imperfections of doctrine or even of conduct, contributed materially to the work of human improvement..
Page 83 - The first question is that of the Method proper to the study. His view of this is highly instructive. The Method proper to the Science of Society must be, in substance, the same as in all other sciences, — the interrogation and interpretation of experience, by the twofold process of Induction and Deduction. But its mode of practising these operations has features of peculiarity. In general, Induction furnishes to science the laws of the elementary facts, from which, when known, those of the complex...
Page 141 - May it not be the fact that mankind, who after all are made up of single human beings, obtain a greater sum of happiness when each pursues his own, under the rules and conditions required by the good of the rest, than when each makes the good of the rest his only object, and allows himself no personal pleasures not indispensable to the preservation of his faculties?
Page 15 - Positive philosophy maintains that, within the existing order of the Universe, or rather of the part of it known to us, the direct determining cause of every phenomenon is not supernatural but natural. It is compatible with this to believe that the universe was created and even that it is continuously governed by an Intelligence, provided we admit that the intelligent Governor adheres to fixed laws, which are only modified or counteracted by other laws of the same dispensation, and are never either...
Page 85 - ... with the positive theory of human nature. A sociological demonstration lies in the establishment of an accordance between the conclusions of historical analysis and the preparatory conceptions of biological theory. As Mill puts it: — "If a sociological theory, collected from historical evidence, contradicts the established general laws of human nature; if (to use M.
Page 71 - But politics is not the whole art of social existence : ethics is still a deeper and more vital part of it ; and in that, as much in England as elsewhere, the current opinions are still divided between the theological mode of thought and the metaphysical. What is the whole doctrine of Intuitive Morality, which reigns supreme wherever the idolatry of Scripture texts has abated and the influence of Bentham's philosophy has not reached, but the metaphysical state of ethical science? What else, indeed,...

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