Q:

What is the main contribution that Auguste Comte made to sociology?

A:

Quick Answer

Auguste Comte is best known for coining the term "sociology." Comte was born in France shortly after the French Revolution. In response to the social upheaval and alienation of the period, he devoted himself to the study of society, which he called sociology.

Continue Reading
What is the main contribution that Auguste Comte made to sociology?
Credit: Max Dereta Stone Getty Images

Full Answer

Comte divided sociology into two main branches: social statics, which is the study of forces holding society together, and social dynamics, which is the study of forces causing social change. Comte's observations and analyses were based on scientific principles. He believed that because society operates according to its own set of laws, similar to the way the physical world operates according to physical laws, it should be studied as a social science. He called this approach positivism. According to positivism, sociologists should focus only on what they can observe with their senses so they can acquire reliable, valid knowledge about how society works. They can then use that knowledge to stimulate social change and improve the human condition.

Comte was a major influence on other writers and thinkers of the 19th century, including George Eliot, Karl Marx and John Stuart Mill. Comte's ideas and methods also advanced the field of sociology in general, especially modern academic sociology, which emphasizes practical and objective social research.

Learn more about Religion

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What do you call someone who is half human and half angel?

    A:

    According to biblical texts, the term for the offspring of “the sons of god” and the “daughters of men” is nephilim. Many biblical scholars also believe the nephilim were giants.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the difference between a temple and a synagogue?

    A:

    The main difference between the terms "synagogue," "temple" and the related "shul" is the tradition and intent of the person using the term. Any of the three names can be applied to a place of worship in the Jewish faith, but some terms are preferred over others by different groups for various reasons.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is positive bias?

    A:

    A positive bias is a term in sociology that indicates feelings toward a subject that influence its positive treatment. This can be seen in a number of different forms, and while it may be innocent enough in most cases, it can represent a less than favorable trend.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the difference between positivism and interpretivism?

    A:

    Developed by French philosopher Auguste Comte, the theory of positivism asserts that all justifiable claims may be verified by scientific proofs involving the physical senses. This method of thought contrasts with interpretivism's emphasis on the metaphysical elements of social interaction through which people may make adjustments around one another.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore