What are the Contribution of Auguste Comte in Development of Sociology ?

Auguste Comte was the first social philosopher to coin and use the term sociology. Auguste Comte born in Montellier of Southern France in January 1, 1798 and died in 1857 was first to regard himself as a sociologist.  He defined sociology as the scientific study of social dynamics and social static. He argued that sociology can and should study society and social phenomena following the pattern and procedures of the natural science. Comte believed that a theoretical science of society and the systematic investigation of human behavior were needed to improve society. He argued that the new science of society could and should make a critical contribution towards a new and improved human society. Comte defined sociology as the study of social dynamic and social static, the former signifying the changing, progressing and developmental dimensions of society, while the latter refers to the social order and those elements of society and social phenomena which tend to persist and relatively permanent, defying change. Contribution of Comte in development of Sociology Significant contribution made by Augste Comte known as father of sociology have described as follows:
  • Positivism 
Comte defined sociology as a positive science. Positivism in simple term is scientific, he define positivism as the philosophical view that the only or true form of human knowledge is that discovered by empirical science. Comte says that every social cause have some scientific fact behind that e.g. the revolution, rotation of earth and moon, occurring of day and night, natural disaster such as drought, flood and earthquake has some scientific reason. Like this social problem like divorce, prostitution, poverty human trafficking has some scientific facts. Comte identified three basic methods for discovering these invariant laws, observation, experimentation, and comparison.  Positivism doesn’t include religious beliefs and metaphysical beliefs. Positivism is the belief that human knowledge is produced by the scientific interpretation of observational data.
  • Evolutionary Theory of Conte
Comte’s evolutionary theory or the law of three stages represents that there are three intellectual stages through which the world has gone throughout its history. According to him, not only does the world go through this process but groups, societies, sciences, individuals and even minds go through the same three stages. As there has been an evolution in the human thinking so that each succeeding stage is superior to and more evolved than the preceding stage. However, these three stages are as follows:-
  • Theological or Fictitious Stage:
This stage was the first stage of law of three stages. It characterized the world prior to 1300 A.D. According to Comte in this stage “All theoretical conceptions whether general or special bear a super natural impress”. It was believed that all the activities of men were guided and governed by supernatural power. In this stage the social and the physical world was produced by God. At this stage man’s thinking was guided by theological dogmas. It was marked by lack of logical and orderly thinking. Theological thinking is characterized by unscientific outlook
  • Metaphysical or Abstract Stage:
This is the second stage which occurred roughly between 1300 and 1800 A.D. This is an improved form of theological stage. Under this stage it was believed that an abstract power or force guided and determined all the events of the world. It was against the belief in concrete God. There was development of reason in human thinking. By this man ceased to think that it was the supernatural being that controlled and guided all the activities.
  • Positive Stage:
The last and the final stage of human thinking or human mind was the positive stage or the scientific stage which entered into the world in 1800. This stage was characterized by belief in Science. People now tended to give up the search for absolute causes (God or Nature) and concentrated instead on observation of the social and physical world in the search for the laws governing them.
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