more from Auguste Comte

Single Idea 7491

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

Full Idea

The first phase of humanity was theological, attributing phenomena to a deity, the second metaphysical stage attributed them to abstract forms, the third positive stage abandons ultimate causes and just searches for regularities.

Gist of Idea

The phases of human thought are theological, then metaphysical, then positivist


report of Auguste Comte (Course of Positive Philosophy [1846]) by Peter Watson - Ideas Ch.32

Book Reference

Watson,Peter: 'Ideas: from fire to Freud' [Phoenix 2006], p.884

A Reaction

This is obviously a highly empirical programme, which reasserts Hume's view of the laws of nature. Effectively, positivism just is the rejection of metaphysics.