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Critically discuss the contribution of positivism to the study of society - Essay Example

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Moreover, this worldview would come with modifying the imperfections of human life. Philosophy is all about fitting it all together and steeping back to look at…
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Critically discuss the contribution of positivism to the study of society
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Critically discuss the contribution of positivism to the study of society

Download file to see previous pages... This paper would however move forward with narrowing its focus on epistemology, which is concerned about the sources, nature, and limitations of knowledge. Moreover, epistemology also attempts to look at the process of acquiring knowledge, differentiating between reliable and unreliable knowledge, nature of the knowledge and all other factors involved in the process. Epistemologists differ greatly, as they do in all other aspects of philosophy and there are different schools of thought in epistemology as well. Rationalism believes that knowledge comes with reason, thinking, and discovering ideas, knowledge or reality resides in the ideas, and ideas are “a priori” which come before experience. Empiricism believes that the source of knowledge remains experience and humans only have the access to the ideas of the things and not things. For having the knowledge, we need to use experience. Transcendental idealism is another school of thought, which tries to accommodate both empiricism and rationalism by saying that knowledge is something, which begins with experience and ends at the structural arrangement of knowledge in mind with the use of logic and reasoning. However, there are other schools of thought like intuitionism, authoritarianism, postmodern view and others but we once again narrow down or focus on empiricism since that concerns our rest of the decision.
Positivism is one of the most important concepts and developments in the empiricist school of thought, which holds the view that reliable knowledge is only attainable with proper experience and demands verification, very much similar to the scientific way of acquiring knowledge. Famous sociologist and philosopher Auguste Comte deserves all the credit for coming up with a comprehensive framework and layout for this term (Kaines, pp. 16-24, 1880). However, contributions from Hebert Spencer, Emile Durkenheim, and Charles Darwin have also been ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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Compte himself regarded Francis Bacon, Descartes and Galileo as antecedents of his concept of human knowledge; he defined his version of ‘positive philosophy’ stating that the only existing knowledge is the one of phenomena, and that this knowledge is not absolute but relative, hence, what is known, as Mill describes it later, is neither the essence nor the real mode of production of any fact, but only its relations to other facts, which relations are constant – always the same in the same circumstances (1882).
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