Auguste Comte: An Intellectual Biography by Mary Pickering

By Mary Pickering

This quantity starts off to discover the lifestyles and works of Auguste Comte in the course of his so-called moment occupation, the debatable interval that all started in 1842 and lasted till his demise. This quantity covers the years from 1842 to 1852, while Comte reworked his optimistic philosophy right into a political and non secular stream. It represents the 1st in-depth examine of that flow. targeting key books, similar to the Discours sur l'ensemble du positivisme, Mary Pickering connects Comte's highbrow improvement to the tumultuous old context and to episodes in his own existence, in particular his recognized dating with Clotilde de Vaux. The e-book examines for the 1st time why employees, medical professionals, ladies, and well-known writers, equivalent to John Stuart Mill, George Henry Lewes, and Emile Littré, have been attracted to his proposal.

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Extra resources for Auguste Comte: An Intellectual Biography

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39 If refounded along the lines of positivism, which favored understanding the interrelations of all the branches of natural philosophy and encouraged a devotion to the welfare of society, the Ecole Polytechnique would “exercise a great influence, both intellectual and social, on the great organic movement . . 41 On the face of it, Comte’s three projects appear to be innocuous works, reflecting his interest in improving French education. Yet they must be seen in light of his provocative mood, already evident in his notorious preface to volume six of the Cours and his trial against Bachelier.

Belhoste, “Un Mod`ele a` l’´epreuve,” 26. Comte’s Three Projects 23 his preface, Comte also complained that he should not be subject to reelection as admissions examiner every year, for he was too vulnerable to the wrath of the powerful relatives or friends of rejected applicants. (Appointed according to the rules of 1832, Comte was the only “temporary” admissions examiner, which meant that he had to be reelected annually. ) Oppressed by the 1832 rules, Comte wanted the issue of his reelection settled once and for all, and after insulting the scientists for being driven by their base passions and prejudices against him, he dared them not to reelect him in 1843.

They were angry about Comte’s attacks on the Ecole Polytechnique and the Council of Instruction. ”68 Sturm had been the candidate who won the chair. Comte’s wrath over this loss had prompted him to write the brash preface. 69 After hearing and reading Comte’s 64 65 66 67 68 It was republished in 1894 and has not been reissued since then. See Dhombres, “La Pratique philosophique des math´ematiques,” 33. Comte to Mill, May 16, 1843, CG, 2:150. Comte to Valat, October 27, 1842, CG, 2:99. Comte to Mme Auguste Comte, October 11, 1842, CG, 1:97.

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