Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 3 of 3), Essay 10: Auguste Comte

John Morley Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 3 of 3), Essay 10: Auguste Comte
Рік видання:
2009 р.
Project Gutenberg
John Morley
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Опис: Comte is now generally admitted to have been the most eminent and important of that interesting group of thinkers whom the overthrow of old institutions in France turned towards social speculation. Vastly superior as he was to men like De Maistre on the one hand, and to men like Saint Simon or Fourier on the other, as well in scientific acquisitions as in mental capacity, still the aim and interest of all his thinking was also theirs, namely, the renovation of the conditions of the social union. If, however, we classify him, not thus according to aim, but according to method, then he takes rank among men of a very different type from these. What distinguishes him in method from his contemporaries is his discernment that the social order cannot be transformed until all the theoretic conceptions that belong to it have been rehandled in a scientific spirit, and maturely gathered up into a systematic whole along with the rest of our knowledge. This presiding doctrine connects Comte with the social thinkers of the eighteenth[Pg 338] century,—indirectly with Montesquieu, directly with Turgot, and more closely than either with Condorcet, of whom he was accustomed to speak as his philosophic father.

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