Auguste Comte


Auguste Comte was the first to develop the concept of "sociology." He defined sociology as a positive science. Positivism is the search for "invariant laws of the natural and social world." Comte identified three basic methods for discovering these invariant laws, observation, experimentation, and comparison. He is also famous for his Law of the Three Stages. These three stages are the theological, metaphysical, and positivist. Comte discussed the difference between social statistics and social dynamics; which have been renamed social structure and social change. Comte’s ideas have had a major role in developing structural functionalism. His major goal was to integrate theory and practice.

Dr. Larry Ridener’s Dead Sociologist’s Society Index

It has links to biographical information about Auguste Comte including information about his education. It also discusses the role of the French government during Comte’s time. The site additionally gives links to his major sociological ideas; such as The Law of Human Progress and the Hierarchy of the Sciences. The information on this site comes from Coser’s Masters of Sociological Thought.

Philosophical Biographies: Sociology and Linguistics 1841-1917

This site presents biographical information about Comte’s education. It also discusses two of Comte’s works: Course of Positive Philosophy and System of Positive Polity. To read an excerpt from chapter 1 of Comte’s A General View of Positivism, go to Also, this site has links to works by other sociologists, such as Marx and Engels.

Lectures on Modern European Intellectual History: Lecture 23—The Age of Ideologies (3): The World of Auguste Comte

It opens with a brief description of European history in the 1880s, a short time after Comte’s death in 1857. This site presents biographical information about Comte. It also has a discussion of his relationship with the French utopian socialist, Saint-Simon. According to this site, this relationship ended bitterly. Here, we read that it was Saint-Simon that initiated the idea of the Law of Three Stages. In addition, this site provides links to Comte’s works, the philosophers that inspired him, and sociologists that followed him.

The 13 – Month Calendar

This site discusses Comte’s 1849 idea of adding a month to the calendar. He suggested a 364-day year, each month having exactly 28 days. He said that adding a month would simplify the calendar year because each month would have the same amount of days. It also presents reasons why this calendar was never accepted.

History of Psychology

This site provides links that discuss Auguste Comte. The links present biographical information about him. Some discuss his ideas about mysticism, which he turned to in his later life. The site also provides links to the histories of different psychology departments and links to artifacts, courses, images, organizations, chronologies, meta-sites, writings, and topics from universities that are influenced by sociology and psychology.