Comte+June21Outline - SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of...

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SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological Theory Auguste Comte Key Points: o Beyond being the first to use the term “sociology” for his social theory, what makes Comte a father of sociology? Brief biography of Auguste Comte o Born in Montpellier, France, in 1798 o Disciple of Saint-Simon o Considered “The Father of Sociology” o Died in Paris in 1857 Sociology is born… o Comte first called the new science he sought to establish “social physics” but, once he realized Quetelet had adopted the word for his own theory, he started using the term “sociology.” The subject of sociology o Social Statics : the study of the conditions and pre-conditions of social order o The methodology of sociology o Observation o Experimentation o Comparison Positivism 1
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o Argues that the only authentic knowledge is knowledge obtained through actual sense experience. One can only be really positive about what “obviously” is. o Against intuition, revelation, or other forms of metaphysical and theoretical speculation. o For example, a strict positivist, seeing a black sheep could not say, “There is a black sheep.” He could only say, “I see a sheep, one side of which is black.” Relationship between data and theory o “No social fact can have any scientific meaning till it is connected with some other social facts” o “If it is true that every theory must be based upon observed facts, it is equally true that facts cannot be observed without the guidance of some theory” o “No real observation of any phenomena is possible, except in so far as it is first
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Comte+June21Outline - SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of...

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