Biography Sample: The stages of life and work of Auguste Comte (part 1)

Auguste Comte was a true creator, “father” of sociology – a moot point. There is no doubt that was his godfather, since given its name, coined the term “sociology.” However, the guardians of the purity of scientific language is often emphasized the character’s name “barbarian”, which defined the science of society newborn; because it consists of words in two different languages: Latin “Societas” (“Company”) and Greek “logos” (“word”, “education”). In any case, already because Comte coined the term “sociology” it is interesting for the history of this science. However, of course, not in the title. Then we will see how significant the contribution of the thinker to the creation of sociology was as such.

The French philosopher Auguste Comte was born January 19, 1798 in Montpellier in the poor family journal, tax collector. The Comte’s parents were devout Catholics and monarchists, but it starts right away from traditional family values and becomes a defender of the ideals of the French Revolution. After graduating from college in his native Montpellier in 1814, he entered the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, where liberal and republican ideas in title.


At this time, Conte assiduously studying mathematics and other sciences, he also read many works of philosophy, economic and social. And in high school and at the Ecole Polytechnique, which was distinguished by the seriousness and insularity, the youth component of fun and entertainment, as if trying to prove the validity of his conduct of the French proverb: “Who wants to be young, should be old as a young man”, at the same time the young Auguste was very independent in his view. Do not recognize the authorities imposed and outdoor setting, is respected only the intellectual and moral virtues as a result, it is often involved in conflicts with his superiors. one of these conflicts (students protested against one of the teachers), in which Conte has played an active role, led to the temporary closure of the Ecole Polytechnique in 1816 Conte was sent to Montpellier under police surveillance, and has been the order to complete their studies. After returning to Paris soon, he began an independent life, by giving private lessons in mathematics.

In 1817, Earl became secretary of Saint-Simon, replacing in this position known historian Augustin Thierry. First, the relationship between the young student and the teacher are famous friendly nature, and Comte, in essence, is a participant in the Saint-Simonian school. It focuses on respect for boundless Saint-Simon, and actively cooperates in its publications. However, gradually, as often happens in close contact with important people, there are disputes over paternity and priorities; their marriage deteriorates and, in 1824, the final break.

In 1826, Comte proceeds to review the public lectures to paying at home philosophy. The talks were suspended because of his severe mental illness and renewed in 1829, 1830 and 1842 leads Count an ambitious project: the publication of six volumes “Course positive philosophy.” In the second half of the ’40s, which, in addition to the purely intellectual, refers to the preaching and practice of the’ organization activities, the promotion of positivism as political teachings, religious and moral. In 1847, he proclaimed the religion of Humanity in 1848 – creates a positivist society. The last years of his life, he was engaged in the development of new religious doctrine and worship, proclaiming himself the high priest of the religion of humanity. Conte died September 5, 1857 surrounded by his disciples.

Earl has not taken a strong position in the academic system of the time in France. His attempts to get a chair or take a full-time teaching position at the Ecole Polytechnique and the Collège de France failed, and was forced to settle for modest role of a tutor and examiner Ecole Polytechnique, subsisting as private lessons . This gave him a very skinny waist. The last years of his life, he lived on funds raised by subscription of his supporters-positivists.

On the life and work of Comte was influenced by two women, then, in a sense, is the sociology of history with him. The impact of one of them is considered harmful and considered the relationship with his only mistake made in my life. It ‘was his wife Caroline Massin, whom he accuses of corruption and, more importantly, in the heart. Violent conflicts and frequent with her occasionally led to serious deterioration of his mental illness. Ultimately, the couple broke up. Comte effect other women returns true grace; He said in part that strongly emphasized the superiority of feelings ( “heart”) at the end of life of the mind and, in fact, a preacher of the new science became a preacher of the new religion. They called this woman, Clotilde de Vaux. Comte met her in 1845, a year before his death. This passion (and unrequited) love this 30-year-old woman and her revered until his death. Love trance gradually grew in his religious ecstasy. Glorified Clotilde de Vaux in four volumes preface to his “positive political system” and developed a special ritual dedicated to his action, which was regularly and thoroughly executed.

Style works Count reflects, apparently, the features of his personality. It differs expandable lengths of exposure, awkward phrases, and frequent repetitions. Earl did not care about the beauty of style, but he is ready for the completeness and accuracy in the presentation of his thoughts. These features are, paradoxically, combined with a love of composing aphorisms and slogans, often very spectacular and memorable. Here are some of them: “Order and Progress”, “What to Expect, plan for power”, “knowledge to be able to think, to act,” “Living for others”, “Live at the clear light “,” love in principle as a basis”, “We are destroying only goal that we replace” and so on.

While in the early years of Conte read a lot, develop later, his philosophical system, submitted to the regime of the so-called “brain health” to avoid being infected with the opinions of others. According to this method for many years, I have not read something that, at least indirectly connected to the subjects of its investigations, with the exception of some works containing useful in his opinion, data, and poetic writings.

Earl was a man of extremely unstable periodic mental illness and suffered, although in general, it can hardly be considered crazy. Serious mistakes in life compensate for his extreme arrogance and unwavering faith in its exceptional mission. The sense of humor and spirit, it seems, was alien to him.

In general, talking about the personality of the count, it can be concluded that this extraordinary man was an outcast, a man “to the limit”, on the edge of several ways. It was about between the academic and non-academic world, between the family and the state of rest, between health and disease, between science and religion, the utopia, and so… Not all of this, of course, could affect his sociological thought.