Auguste Comte, Volume 1: An Intellectual Biography available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
- Cambridge University Press
This book constitutes the first volume of a projected two-volume intellectual biography of Auguste Comte, the founder of modern sociology and a philosophical movement called positivism. Volume One offers a reinterpretation of Comte's "first career," (1798-1842) when he completed the scientific foundation of his philosophy. It describes the interplay between Comte's ideas and the historical context of postrevolutionary France, his struggles with poverty and mental illness, and his volatile relationships with friends, family, and colleagues, including such famous contemporaries as Saint-Simon, the Saint-Simonians, Guizot, and John Stuart Mill. Pickering shows that the man who called for a new social philosophy based on the sciences was not only ill at ease in the most basic human relationships, but also profoundly questioned the ability of the purely scientific spirit to regenerate the political and social world.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. The early years; 2. The life and works of Saint-Simon up to 1817; 3. Comte's first works for Saint-Simon; 4. Comte's growing independence, 1819-21; 5. The fundamental opuscule and Comte's rupture with Saint-Simon; 6. The aftermath of the rupture; the search for connections; 7. Comte's efforts to establish himself; 8. Intellectual and mental crises; 9. The road to recovery, 1828-30; 10. Years of success and confrontation, 1830-8; 11. Comte's changing psyche and aberrant behavior, 1838-40; 12. The encounter between two luminaries: Comte and Mill; 13. 1842: a turning point; 14. Cours de philosophie positive: positivism and the natural sciences; 15. Cours de philosophie positive; sociology; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.