Epistemology - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Sociology

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 18 pages of information about Epistemology.
This section contains 5,304 words
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Positivism Versus Historicism

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the discipline of sociology originated as the positivistic science of human society and aligned itself against metaphysical and philosophical speculation about social life. This, according to Auguste Comte, the founder of sociology, implied the straight application of the scientific method used in physics and the other natural sciences to the analysis of human society. His social physics (Comte 1830–42) is the expression of the new culture of the Industrial Revolution and of its practical ambition of a totally planned social life. Comte's positivistic doctrine is organic and progressive and holds a naive faith in the possibility of automatically translating scientific knowledge of the laws of society into a new harmonious social order.

The uncritical assumptions of Comte as to the reliability and universal applicability of scientific method were at least partially tempered by John Stuart Mill, who considered illiberal...

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This section contains 5,304 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Epistemology Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Sociology
Epistemology from Encyclopedia of Sociology. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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