The Scientific Method Of Social Life Essay

1659 Words Sep 5th, 2015 7 Pages
Auguste Comte (1798-1857) first proposed the idea of applying the scientific method to the social world, also known as positivism. After the French Revolution and the experiences he had in moving from the small, conservative town he grew up in to Paris he became interested in what holds society together. He wondered questions such as "What creates social order instead of anarchy or chaos?" and "Once society does become set on a particular course, what causes it to change?".

Comte concluded that in order to reach the answer he desired, he would have to apply the scientific method to social life. This new science of the study of society became known as sociology. Comte believed that this new science would discover social principles that would then be applied to social reform. Sociologists hope that the social reform to the entire society would make it a better place to live.

To Comte, though, applying the scientific method to social life would be what we now consider "armchair philosophy" -- drawing conclusions from informal observations of social life. However, Comte 's conclusions would have been abandoned because he did not do what today 's sociologists would call "research". Nevertheless, Comte 's insistence that we must observe and classify human activities to uncover society 's fundamental laws is well taken. Today, he is often credited with being the founder of sociology because he developed the idea and coined the term sociology.

Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) is…

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