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A General View of Positivism (A Selection from Brown Reprints in Sociology)

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Pages: 426

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:Unknown - Irvington Pub

By: Auguste Comte

Excerpt from book: these two elements, once established, is in little danger of being disturbed. For since it is equally favourable to both of them, both will be interested in maintaining it. The fact that Reason in modern times has become habituated to revolt, is no ground for supposing that it will always retain its revolutionary character, even when its legitimate claims have been fully satisfied. Supposing the case to arise, however, society, as I shall show afterwards, would not be without the means of repressing any pretensions that were subversive of order. There is another point of view which may assure us that the position given to the heart under the new system will involve no danger to the growth of intellect. Love, when real, ever desires light, in order to attain its ends. The influence of true feeling is as favourable to sound thought as to wise activity. Our doctrine, therefore, is one which ren- na™nofOithe ders hypocrisy and oppression alike impossible. nislhs And it now stands forward as the result of all ££'"f ?osili- the efforts of the past, for the regeneration of Um- order, which, whether considered individually or socially, is so deeply compromised by the anarchy of the present time. It establishes a fundamental principle by which true philosophy and sound polity are brought into correlation : a principle which can be felt as well as proved, and which is at once the key-stone of a system and a basis of government. I shall show, moreover, in the fifth chapter that the doctrine is as rich in esthetic beauty as in philosophical power and in social influence. This will complete the proof of its efficacy as the centre of a universal system. Viewed from the moral, scientific, or poetical aspect, it is equally valuable: and it is the only principle which can bring Humanity safely ...  


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