more from Auguste Comte

Single Idea 12105

[catalogued under 1. Philosophy / B. History of Ideas / 1. History of Ideas]

Full Idea

Our principal conceptions, each branch of our knowledge, passes in succession through three different theoretical states: the theological or fictitious state, the metaphysical or abstract state, and the scientific or positive state.

Gist of Idea

Our knowledge starts in theology, passes through metaphysics, and ends in positivism


Auguste Comte (Intro to Positive Philosophy [1830], Ch.1)

Book Reference

Comte,Auguste: 'Introduction to Positive Philosophy', ed/tr. Ferré,Frederick [Hackett 1988], p.1

A Reaction

See Idea 5077 for the abstraction step. The idea that there is a 'law' here, as Comte thinks, is daft, but something of what he describes is undeniable. I suspect, though, that science rests on abstractions, so the last part is wrong.

Related Idea

Idea 5077 The modern idea of obligation seems to have lost the idea of an obligation 'to' something [Taylor,R]