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Ideas of Auguste Comte, by Text

[French, 1798 - 1857, Born at Montpellier, France.]

1830 Intro to Positive Philosophy
Ch.1 p.1 All ideas must be understood historically
Ch.1 p.1 Our knowledge starts in theology, passes through metaphysics, and ends in positivism
Ch.1 p.2 Positivism gives up absolute truth, and seeks phenomenal laws, by reason and observation
Ch.1 p.2 Positivism explains facts by connecting particular phenomena with general facts
Ch.1 p.4 All real knowledge rests on observed facts
Ch.1 p.5 We must observe in order to form theories, but connected observations need prior theories
Ch.1 p.5 We can never know origins, purposes or inner natures
Ch.1 p.7 Positivism is the final state of human intelligence
Ch.1 p.8 Metaphysics is just the oversubtle qualification of abstract names for phenomena
Ch.1 p.8 The search for first or final causes is futile
Ch.1 p.17 Science can drown in detail, so we need broad scientists (to keep out the metaphysicians)
Ch.1 p.20 Introspection is pure illusion; we can obviously observe everything except ourselves
Ch.1 p.28 Only positivist philosophy can terminate modern social crises
1846 Course of Positive Philosophy
p.884 The phases of human thought are theological, then metaphysical, then positivist [Watson]