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Positivism - Research Paper Example

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The Principles of Positivism: Do they still guide the design of social survey research Background Auguste Compte’s treatise ‘The Course in Positive Philosophy’ first introduced the terms ‘positivism’ and ‘positive philosophy’ that are considered symbols of a recognised mode of thought, and which, according to Mill, are better known through the enemies of this mode of thinking, rather than due to its adherents (1882)…
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Download file to see previous pages... According to that concept, the constant sequences that unite the phenomena as antecedent and consequent are their laws and all foresight of phenomena depend on knowledge of their sequences, and not upon any notion formed in respect of their origin or nature (Mill, 1882). The doctrine of ‘Positivism’ had been later elaborated in a subsequent work of Auguste Compte, A General View of Positivism, which is credited with defining the empirical goals of sociology (Compte, 1848; Guneriussen, 1996). Compte’s ideas had profoundly inspired the oeuvre of Emile Durkheim, whose works on the methodology of sociology, like The Rules of Sociological Method (1895), are considered a significant example of positivist social science (Guneriussen, 1996). ...
The Principles of Positivism ‘Positivism’ is seen by Auguste Compte as consisted of two inseparable components - “a Philosophy and a Polity”, the first of which being the basis, and second - the end of “one comprehensive system” (1848, p.1). The original fundamental principles of this doctrine, as described by Compte, are as follows (1848, pp. 2- 38): the science of society (sociology) is considered the most important one, which provides the only means of bringing the various observations of phenomena into “one consistent whole”; the philosophy is aimed at presenting a systematic view of human life, including every social and individual aspect, including thoughts, feelings, and actions, which would be a basis of modifying the imperfections if represented naturally existing relations; all subjects necessarily pass through three successive stages – at the beginning is the theological one, which is characterised by spontaneous fictions; it’s followed by the metaphysical stage with prevalence of personified abstractions, and finally, the positive stage sets in, based “upon an exact view of the real facts”; this is considered a general law named ‘the law of Filiation’; the law of Classification deals with the order in which different conceptions pass through each of the aforementioned phases, being determined either by decreasing generality or increasing complexity of the phenomena; in human nature, hence in the Positive science, ‘Affection’ is the preponderant element – over both ‘Reason’ and ‘Activity’; the Heart preponderates over the Intellect (aka the Subjective principle); the proper function of Intellect is the service of Social sympathies the external order of the world, as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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