Positivism is a theory of knowledge according to which the only kind of sound knowledge available to human kind is that if science grounded in observation.

— Auguste Comte

The most authentic Auguste Comte quotes to get the best of your day

Know yourself to improve yourself.


Each department of knowledge passes through three stages.

The theoretic stage; the theological stage and the metaphysical or abstract stage.


Everything is relative; and only that is absolute.


If we do not allow free thinking in chemistry or biology, why should we allow it in morals or politics?


Every science consists in the coordination of facts;

if the different observations were entirely isolated, there would be no science.


The only real life is the collective life of the race;

individual life has no existence except as an abstraction.


All good intellects have repeated, since Bacon's time, that there can be no real knowledge but which is based on observed facts.


Foreknowledge is power.


But now, I, August Comte, have discovered the truth.

Therefore, there is no longer any need for freedom of thought or freedom of the press. I want to rule and to organize the whole country.


Induction for deduction, with a view to construction.


The dead governs the living.


Mathematical Analysis is... the true rational basis of the whole system of our positive knowledge.


About Auguste Comte

Quotes 33 sayings
Nationality French
Profession Sociologist
Birthday October 16

In mathematics we find the primitive source of rationality;

and to mathematics must the biologists resort for means to carry out their researches.


Men are not allowed to think freely about chemistry and biology: why should they be allowed to think freely about political philosophy?


The heavens declare the glory of Kepler and Newton.


The word right should be excluded from political language, as the word cause from the language of philosophy.


The dead govern the living.


Woman is the most moral element in all humanity.


The universe displays no proof of an all-directing mind.


Humanity is always made up of more dead than living.


Language forms a kind of wealth, which all can make use of at once without causing any diminution of the store, and which thus admits a complete community of enjoyment; for all, freely participating in the general treasure, unconsciously aid in its preservation.


To understand a science it is necessary to know its history.


Ideas govern the world, or throw it into chaos.


nd now that man's history has been for the first time systematically considered as a whole, and has been found to be, like all other phenomena, subject to invariable laws, the preparatory labours of modern Science are ended.


Nothing is destroyed until it is replaced.


After Montesquieu, the next great addition to Sociology (which is the term I may be allowed to invent to designate Social Physics) was made by Condorcet, proceeding on the views suggested by his illustrious friend Turgot.


The sacred formula of positivism: love as a principle, the order as a foundation, and progress as a goal.


Every attempt to employ mathematical methods in the study of chemical questions must be considered profoundly irrational and contrary to the spirit of chemistry.... if mathematical analysis should ever hold a prominent place in chemistry -- an aberration which is happily almost impossible -- it would occasion a rapid and widespread degeneration of that science.


Monotheism occupies so large a space in the view of modern minds, that it is scarcely possible to form a just estimate of the preceding phases of the theological philosophy.


The law is this: that each of our leading conceptions-each branch of our knowledge-passes successively through three different theoretical conditions: the Theological, or fictitious: the Metaphysical, or abstract; and the Scientific, or positive.


Religion is an illusion of childhood, outgrown under proper education.


To reorganize society without God or King, by the systematic culture of Humanity.