Ideas of Auguste Comte, by Theme

[French, 1798 - 1857, Born at Montpellier, France.]

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1. Philosophy / B. History of Ideas / 1. History of Ideas
All ideas must be understood historically
Our knowledge starts in theology, passes through metaphysics, and ends in positivism
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 6. Metaphysics as Conceptual
Metaphysics is just the oversubtle qualification of abstract names for phenomena
1. Philosophy / G. Scientific Philosophy / 2. Positivism
Positivism is the final state of human intelligence
Positivism gives up absolute truth, and seeks phenomenal laws, by reason and observation
The phases of human thought are theological, then metaphysical, then positivist [Watson]
1. Philosophy / G. Scientific Philosophy / 3. Scientism
Science can drown in detail, so we need broad scientists (to keep out the metaphysicians)
Only positivist philosophy can terminate modern social crises
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 4. Pro-Empiricism
All real knowledge rests on observed facts
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 1. Observation
We must observe in order to form theories, but connected observations need prior theories
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / e. Lawlike explanations
Positivism explains facts by connecting particular phenomena with general facts
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 3. Limits of Introspection
Introspection is pure illusion; we can obviously observe everything except ourselves
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 7. Eliminating causation
The search for first or final causes is futile
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / e. Anti scientific essentialism
We can never know origins, purposes or inner natures