Can August Comte be viewed as the father of sociology? essay sample



Sociology has been established as a science in the early nineteenth century when social development reached the stage where it was necessary to study communities and rules which define social relations. The french philosopher Auguste Comte has coined the term sociology and used it to name the study about society. Herbert Spencer, Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber worked in the same direction, and all together they are considered to be the forefathers of modern sociology. However, many historians mention the great sociological contribution of the Medieval philosopher Ibn Khaldun who discovered how psychological, environmental and social facts influence human civilization.

Auguste Comte developed the philosophy of positivism and linked it to the processes which occur in societies. According to this theory, truth can be extracted exceptionally from the scientific knowledge, therefore, A. Comte put a material evidence in the prior position when investigating social phenomena. Guided by the study of positivism, the philosopher suggested that every society goes through three stages in the process of evolution. These are the theological, metaphysical, and scientific stages. While at the earliest stages of development individuals are guided by their religious beliefs, at the final stage they substitute their anticipation with relying purely on scientific evidence.

Having established sociology, A. Comte suggested it be divided into the social statics and the social dynamics. The first constituent deals with social institutes which remain stable trough the history such as family and economy. Statistical study discovers relations between these institutions and their impact upon one another. Social dynamics, in its turn, pays attention to entire societies and their historical development.

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