Monday, February 25, 2008

The Positive Philosophy

This term “Positive Philosophy” is firstly used by August Comte. Course of Positive Philosophy was his first great work, and in it he propounds his theory that all institutions are based upon the ideas of men which are formed in three successive stages--theology, metaphysics and finally from the Positive. In the theological state, the human mind, seeking the essential nature of beings, the first and final causes (the origin and purpose) of all effects. In short, it is absolute knowledge -- supposes all phenomena to be produced by the immediate action of supernatural beings. In the metaphysical state, which is only a modification of the first, the mind supposes, instead of supernatural beings, abstract forces, veritable entities (that is, personified abstractions) inherent in all beings, and capable of producing all phenomena.

In the final, the positive state, “The mind has given over the vain search after absolute notions, the origin and destination of the universe, and the causes of phenomena, and applies itself to the study of their laws -- that is, their invariable relations of succession and resemblance. Reasoning and observation, duly combined, are the means of this knowledge. What is now understood when we speak of an explanation of facts is simply the establishment of a connection between single phenomena and some general facts, the number of which continually diminishes with the progress of science.” Comte’s rejection of traditional religion and metaphysics, his faith in science and progress has all had a strong and persistent influence on subsequent thought. But I am not here concentrating on the positivist revolution in the world of philosophy, but only that how philosophy becomes beneficial for non-academic persons. Here we are using this word as a useful philosophy for everyone and trying to leave those questions that are merely religious and metaphysical in nature.
Last Updated: