Auguste Comte was a French philosopher who developed the doctrine of positivism—which says that authentic knowledge is only what can be proven by the scientific method—in an attempt to ameliorate the melancholy brought on by the French revolution. He influenced a number of eminent thinkers, including John Stuart Mill. Mill’s survey of the main principles of his close friend’s philosophy is engaging reading for anyone passionate about philosophy.
About the Author
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) was an English philosopher, economist, and progressive reformer. A forceful defender of individual liberty, racial equality, and the rights of women, he made important contributions to the philosophy of utilitarianism, which, in seeking a basis to judge actions, looked toward consequences rather than intent.