Auguste Comte

One of the most important philosophers in history has undoubtedly been Auguste Comte , also considered as the person in charge of initiating positivism and scientific sociology . For him, the fundamental center of his doctrine was the law of the three stages formulated in youth. He was the creator of a criticism against religion, metaphysics and also declared his positivism.

Personal information

  • When was he born: 01/19/1798
  • Where he was born: Montpellier, France
  • When he died: 09/05/1857
  • Where he died: Paris, France

Who was Auguste Comte?

Auguste Comte was one of the most important figures in human thought , creator of the current known as positivism and a new current called sociology , a series of ideas that influenced the civilized world .

  • Biography of Auguste Comte
  • Thought of Auguste Comte
  • Contributions
  • Who was influenced by
  • Importance
  • Works by Auguste Comte
  • Auguste Comte quotes
  • Curiosities

Biography of Auguste Comte

Auguste Comte was born in the city of Montpellier , a town located in France in 1798 . Son of parents of Catholic , monarchical and very conservative descent and beliefs , his father Louis-Auguste-Xavier Comte and his mother Félicité-Rosalie Comte. He entered elementary school when he was nine years old. Despite the fact that from a very young age he received a Christian education, he decided to abandon the faith when he was fourteen years old, at which point he declared himself a republican and free thinker .

In 1814 he managed to enter the Polytechnic School of Paris , an institution that promoted the training of new technicians to be part of the new regime. After the school closed, he returned to Montpellier where he worked teaching mathematics and also studied anatomy and physiology when he entered medical school .

In 1816 he decided to go live in Paris where he met Saint-Simón , a socialist leader . In 1825 he married Caroline Massine and a year later, he was admitted to an asylum from where he came out with a diagnosis that indicated that he had not been cured. From that moment on, his life was full of ups and downs and great financial need. In 1842 he separated from his wife and then began to suffer from mental delusions .

Auguste Comte called himself a messiah who had a social mission. In 1845 he developed his project known as the Religion of Humanity. At the beginning of the 1848 revolution, he decided to join the group of revolutionaries and in 1852 he began to travel alongside Napoleon III, who had inaugurated the second empire. He died in Paris a 5 September 1857.

Thought of Auguste Comte

His thinking was based on positivism and argued that the empirical study of the historical process issued a law to which he named the three states . This law governed the development that humanity had had . He believed that the theological state had its reflection in the notions that dealt with the divine right that kings had. He affirmed that the technological stage was reflected in the notions that spoke of divine rightof the Kings. He claimed that in the metaphysical stage there were a series of concepts related to the social concept.

Auguste Comte also considered that the positive stage was linked to the sociological analysis that the entire political organization had. I wanted to achieve a society that was stable and that also was ruled by a small number of scholars who use the science to come with her to solve the problems of the human being . He gave value to religion since he believed that it could help social stability. For him, a good propaganda of a new religion was the ideal to establish a good social harmony.

Comte, starting from his dream to create and found a society that was led mainly by wise men and scientists , began to apply mathematical and scientific principles in the phenomena that occurred in society , and with this, he managed to shape the sociology .


The main contributions of Auguste Comte are mentioned below:

  • Positivism : this was a philosophical current that emerged from his lectures and reflections on his Positive Philosophy Course . In his positive philosophy, he modified his theories and raised two fundamental aspects: a government necessary for a society to exist and spiritual power .
  • Law of the three stages : this was one of his proposals in which he affirmed that knowledge had to go through three different progressive stages where there was a theological state , a metaphysical one and a positive one .
  • He managed to raise the term sociology as a science that studied society.
  • He established a scheme by means of which he could organize the sciences depending on their complexity and their historical development .
  • He created what is known as positive politics, where he also established that a government must exist so that a society could exist.
  • He created the term ” altruism ” which indicated the action of giving without expecting anything in return.
  • He also created a special body for his positive philosophy and in this way he managed to ensure that the research was considered as a scientific study where, first, a procedure had to be carried out that would function as a foundation, in other words the observation and posing of the hypothesis
  • He proposed a type of religious system that did not include supernatural themes or aspects and did not have a God . Then, he established human beings as an object of worship, who in order to fulfill their function had to love , to know and serve all humanity .

Who was influenced by

Auguste Comte had a great influence of Saint-Simon , a man who was leading the socialist movement and was working to implement a project with the aim to reorganize the company using the technique and science . It was in this way that he began to feel the need to rebuild the moral and intellectual part of society .


Auguste Comte was a philosopher of the utmost importance as he was the creator and founder of positivism , a trend that sought to find a more authentic and true knowledge which could be obtained through the verification of hypotheses , always using the scientific method . His legacy has been important worldwide since thanks to him it was possible to develop sociology as a science in order to study society and with his ideas, many new philosophical currents managed to emerge over time.

Works by Auguste Comte

Some of his main works are mentioned below:

  • Separation generated between opinions and desires.
  • Plan of the scientific works that are necessary to be able to reorganize society,
  • Summary of the modern past.
  • Considerations on the power of the spirit.
  • Considerations on the sciences and the wise.
  • Positive philosophy course.
  • Speech about positive spirit.
  • Philosophical treatise on popular astronomy.
  • Preliminary speech on positivism.
  • Appeal to Conservatives.

Auguste Comte quotes

Some of his most recognized and remembered phrases mentioned by Auguste Comte are the following:

  • Self- love as the beginning, order as the basis, and progress as the end.
  • The heavens proclaim the glory of Kepler and Newton .
  • Knowing is power .
  • There is only one absolute maxim and that is that there is nothing absolute .
  • The dead rule the living.
  • In order to understand a science, it is necessary to know its history .
  • No one has more right than to do his duty .
  • Love cannot be deep if it is not pure.
  • Non- progress is more than the development of order .


Auguste Comte made a very curious and important contribution to the humanist calendar and made each of the months that made it up and the days the representation of some historical character, he called this the Positivist Calendar. He had several important mentors such as Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot , Joseph-Louis Lagrange and Pierre-Simon Laplace . He had a series of mental problems and was admitted to a mental hospital.

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