Auguste Comte, French philosopher

Auguste Comte, French philosopher

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Credit: HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES LIBRARY/NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Auguste Comte (1798-1857), French philosopher. Comte, who is considered the father of modern sociology, coined the term sociology as part of his description of the new science. From 1822, he developed his philosophy of positivism, where he described sciences as going through three stages: Theological, Metaphysical and Scientific. His idea was that a new science of sociology would bring together all the sciences into a unified whole for social development, planning and regeneration to take place. Along the same lines, Comte founded a new religion, the Church of Humanity, that operated on humanist ideals. Artwork from 1855.

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