more from Auguste Comte

Single Idea 12113

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 7. Eliminating causation]

Full Idea

We regard the search after what are called causes, whether first or final, as absolutely inaccessible and unmeaning.

Gist of Idea

The search for first or final causes is futile


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

Book Reference

Comte,Auguste: 'Introduction to Positive Philosophy', ed/tr. Ferré,Frederick [Hackett 1988], p.8

A Reaction

This remark lies behind Russell's rejection of the notion of cause in scientific thinking. Personally it seems to me indispensable, even if we accept that the pursuit of 'final' causes is fairly hopeless. We don't know where the quest will lead.