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Auguste Comte and Contribution to Sociology

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Auguste Comte was born in January 20th 1789 and died in 1857 of cancer. Auguste was the founder of French positivism and widely accredited with the establishment of sociology. Therefore Auguste Comte is known as the father of sociology. Auguste was a Roman Catholics like his parents Louis Comte a tax official and Rosalie Comte; however he abandoned the ideals of his family and became a republican. Comte attended Ecole Polytenchinque a scientific organization in France in 1794 for training military engineers. Comte studied advanced sciences but the school briefly closed in 1816, he married Caroline Massin in 1824 but they separated 1845. Comte is famous for laws aimed at the science of society that would explain both historical development and further direction of humankind, concerning the study of human society. Comte met Henri de saint Simon while living in Paris, who is also one of the founders of sociology by seeing the importance of organization in society.

August Comte started a number of lectures on “system of positive philosophy” but suffered a nervous breakdown only to recover a year later. (http://www.preservearticles.com/201104306124/what-are-the-major-contributions-of-auguste-comte-to-sociology.html). Auguste Comte made many contributions to sociology including Positive philosophy (1830-42), System of Positive Polity (1851-54) and Religion of Humanity (1856), Auguste Comte’s contribution can be divide into different groups including The plan for social reconstruction, Classification and ordering of social science, The nature, Method and scope of sociology and The law of three stages. The Law of three stages is about human thought experiences over three different stages as it develops and evolves, human beings are loyal believers during childhood, as they continue into adolescence they become mature in judgment metaphysician, finally in manhood they evolve into philosopher. The laws of three stages emphasis both the advanced revolution of society and the revolution of the minds. The three laws of stages in developing society are also identified as theological or fictional stage, metaphysical or abstract stage and positive or scientific stage.

Theological or fictitious Stage
In the primitive stage humans believed that miracles are created by enchanted and the supernatural as primitive beings have not yet developed a logical opinion about the matter and are unable to see problems or experiences from a logical point of view. As the primitive beings are unable to determine natural causes of spectacles they recognise them to be supernatural and enchanted power. The theological stage is divided into three sub-stages fetishism, monotheism and polytheism. Fetishism is the first stage of theological thinking and is where human being adore and pray to non-living items such as stones and trees, this is because primitive being believe that non-living objects are alive, this called Animism. Polytheism is the belief in several different alter gods which control different elements or natural forces, for example in Ancient Egypt there were many goddess including Isis the goddess of protection and Anubis the god of preserving and dead.( http://www.ancientegypt.co.uk/gods/explore/main.html)

Some other examples are the god of rain, fire, air and earth. Monotheism is the last stage of the theological thinking and means only believing in only one God. In society today it is very natural for people to believe in one God, examples of these are Muslims, Christians and adherents of the Jewish religion, all of which teach that God wants human beings to be loyal to him, therefore not worshipping other gods. In the abstract stage the belief of a physical God was rejected as God cannot be physical seen or heard however with development of a sense of purpose and wisdom it is believed that the soul was a part of divine power and people continued to believe that abstract force directs and controls events that happen in the world. At the beginning of the 19th century the positive or scientific stage began, during this stage of the three laws the human mind started to create cause and affect relationships. Facts would be researched, collected through reflection and the sensations would be put into categories. (http://www.preservearticles.com/201104306124/what-are-the-major-contributions-of-auguste-comte-to-sociology.html).

Intellectual Content
During his life, Auguste Comte attended a number of schools during his life including University of Montpellier in Europe which was a famous medical school and was founded in 1969. In 1814 Comte attended Ecole Polytenchinque University that believes in French development and republicanism, the school was then created by an agreement of it being a scientific school that would be organized as a military model. The school was directed by a military governor and general staff. Because Auguste Comte did not graduate due to the Ecole Polytenchinque being closed down, he did not receive any degrees.

Upon returning to Paris, Auguste Comte met Henri Saint-Simon who was a director of the periodical industrie, Saint-Simon was a large and permanent inspiration in Comte life and was also one of the founders in sociology. Between 1819 and 1824 Auguste Comte wrote a collection of essays and sketches which contain some of his best major ideas. Comte wrote a collection of book which includes Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte Volume 1, The Catechism of Positive Religion, Appeal to Conservatives and Comte: Early Political Writings. Many of Comte’s books were composed with other sociologists including Harriet Martineau. Some other accomplishments Comte achieved is the establishment sociology as well as creating the law of three stages, positivism and many other studies that talk about society today and the human mind.

(http://www.bolenderinitiatives.com/sociology/auguste-comte-1798-1857) Social Context

Auguste Comte believes that the social worlds is a science which can be studied, he also believed that positivism is an optimistic knowledgeable way of seeing the world, positivism shows the importance in reflection and the arrangement of statistics and evidence. The human mind can study regularities of laws of natural and social wonders. Positivistic philosophy is also very important and essential of industrial society, in continuation of Comte’s positivism theory between created 1830 and1842 there are six different positivism terms which includes facts and values, atomism, naturalism, nominalism, phenomenalism and scientific law, each of which have their own meaning, the positivism theory also search for correlation between different variables. There are three main forms of positivism which include critical positivism, social positivism and logical positivism.


In conclusion Auguste Comte was born on January 20th 1789 and was the first sociologist and even created sociology by contributing a great deal towards sociology. Sociology has also contributed to number of other subjects and studies including psychology, biology and many more which connected and linked to sociology. One of the most important contributions by Auguste Comte includes positivism and the law of three stages which are the different stages the mind went through before developing into the modern mind used today. In my opinion Auguste Comte was important main contributor to sociology plus many other subjects in the modern world, even although Comte is now dead his studies still support the world today by helping the world to study society and the human mind.

Works Cited

“Auguste Comte Biography – Facts, Birthday, Life Story – Biography.com.” Famous Biographies & TV Shows – Biography.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. <http://www.biography.com/people/auguste-comte-9254680?page=2>. “Auguste Comte.” — www.6sociologists.20m.com –. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. <http://www.6sociologists.20m.com/comte.html>. Crossman, Â Ashley. “Auguste Comte.” Sociology – Sociology information, resources, and news from About.com.. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. <http://sociology.about.com/od/Profiles/p/Auguste-Comte.htm>. “Gods and Goddesses.” Introduction. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. <http://www.ancientegypt.co.uk/gods/explore/main.html>. However, neopositivism.. “Auguste Comte (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. <http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/comte/#Bio>. Macionis, John J. . “Seeing Sociology in Everyday Life.” Society the basics 11th Edition . Unknown: Prentice Hall, 2010. 10-11. Print. “Positivism.” Changing minds and persuasion — How we change what others think, believe, feel and do. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. <http://changingminds.org/explanations/research/philosophies/positivism.ht

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