The man

Auguste Comte: The First Philosopher of Science

  • The Birth of Auguste

    The Birth of Auguste
    On the 19th of January, in the year 1798, Auguste Comte was born. His place of birth was Montpellier, France (the administrative capital of the Languedoc region of France.) His family consisted of his unmarried sister, Alix, and his parents Louis and Rosalie.
  • Childhood

    Despite growing up in a relatively wealthy region known for its wine, Auguste considered himself to have been deprived of a good family atmosphere. "He deeply felt the absence of a warm family life, often blaming his years as a boarder-" (Pickering 2). Auguste was often at odds with his older sister Alix and father, when at home. When not home he was a boarder at the Lycee.
  • Conception of Positivism

    Conception of Positivism
    Auguste was expelled from Ecole Polytechnique in 1816 due to his naturally rebellious nature. It was in the same year that he met the reformed Henri de Saint Simon. They grew close, and thanks to their relationship Auguste realized he should create a unifying system of knowledge "-for the modern industrial era," based on "positive" scientific ideals (Pickering 20). [Henri is showcased in this photo.]
  • Splitting off from Henri

    Comte grew increasingly paranoid that his friend and mentor, Henri, was stealing his ideas. In 1824 he broke ties with Henri, who died in 1825.
  • Preparations for a Course on Positive Philosophy

    In 1825, shortly after his former mentor's death, Auguste Comte began working as an article writer for Le Productuer. Within this journal he would be sure to distance his ideals and points away from that of Henri's. It was during this short period that he began developing a course on his positive philosophy.
  • The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte

    The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte
    Auguste's most famous work was started in 1830. The work spanned a total of 6 different volumes throughout the course of twelve years. The first goal of the work was to create social physics, the foundation of sociology. The other main goal was to properly coordinate the entirety of human knowledge and its categories, namely; mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. Positive Philosophy essentially made him the first modern philosopher of science. A good deal of his concepts are used today.
  • Death

    Auguste Comte died of cancer in 1857.
  • Sources Citied

    Bourdeau, Michel, "Auguste Comte", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2021 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). 2021. Pickering, Mary. Auguste Comte: an Intellectual Biography. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009.