Course:SOCI1110/Auguste Comte

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Introduction

Isidore Auguste Marie FranÇois Xavier Comte, better known as Auguste Comte was born on January 19th 1798 during the late French Revolution and early Industrial Revolution, in the city of Montpellier, France. In his beliefs he would reject religion and royalism. He would grow up to be a French philosopher and later on be the founder of sociology and positivism. Comte died on September 7 1857 in the city of Paris, France.

Life

Early life

Comte´s parents were strong royalist and Roman Catholic devotees. During his early life he attended the University of Montpellier where he rejected these ideas in favor of the French Revolution. Being skilled in the field of mathematics and science, August left school and moved to Paris, where he taught Mathematics and journalism while studying economics, history, and philosophy being specially interested in people who started to trace some kind of order in the history of human society. People like Montesquieu, A.R.J Turgot, and Joseph de Maistre strongly influenced him later on. At the age of 19 Comte met Henri de Saint-Simon, a social theorist who believed in economic organization in modern society and later on founder of European socialism. Being strongly inspired by him, Comte became his collaborator, but later on this partnership was broken by an authorship argument. Comte continued to be influenced by Simon throughout his life.

Mid years

With the experience of working with Simon, in 1924 Comte began to share his system of positive philosophy with private audiences. Soon after this, Auguste had a mental breakdown. A year after Comte almost recovered fully and retook his lecture project, being so successful that he gave a lecture at the royal athenaeum. Comte used the next 12 years writing six books about his philosophy entitled as Cours de philosophie positive. He argued in his books that, like the physical world, society operated under its own set of laws. In the next years he became a tutor at an engineer school called Ecole Polytechnique, but later on due to arguments with the directors, Comte was fired in 1842. The same year August divorced his wife whom he had spent 17 years married. The following year Comte got emotionally involved with Clotilde de Vaux, who died of tuberculosis a year after.

Death

Comte was influenced by Clotilde´s death and spend several years writing his next big book called “System of positive policy”, where he attempted to promote his new world order where history, economics and psychology unifies. His books became popular around Europe, and several people including English intellectuals like Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, and George Eliot were influenced by Comte's writings. His work emphasized on moral progress in society. Later on Comte died of stomach Cancer on September 5, 1857.