more from Auguste Comte

Single Idea 12106

[catalogued under 1. Philosophy / G. Scientific Philosophy / 2. Positivism]

Full Idea

In the positive state, the human mind, recognizing the impossibility of obtaining absolute truth, gives up the search for hidden and final causes. It endeavours to discover, by well-combined reasoning and observation, the actual laws of phenomena.

Gist of Idea

Positivism gives up absolute truth, and seeks phenomenal laws, by reason and observation


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

Book Reference

Comte,Auguste: 'Introduction to Positive Philosophy', ed/tr. Ferré,Frederick [Hackett 1988], p.2

A Reaction

[compressed] Positivism attempted to turn the Humean regularity view of laws into a semi-religion. It is striking how pessimistic Comte was (as was Hume) about the chances of science revealing deep explanations. He would be astoundeds.