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I. Science and the Study of Society
- a. The importance of science in 19thà scientific approach approached to human activity
- i. Attempt to apply methods of science systematically to study of society more evident in work of Frenchman Auguste Comte
- 1. His major work, System of Positive Philosophy impacted society after 1850
- i. Created a system of “positive knowledge” based on a hierarchy of all the sciences
- ii. Mathematics was foundation on which physical, earth, and biological sciences were built
- 1. At top was sociology, the science of human society, which for Comte incorporated economics, anthropology, history, and social psychology
- i. Comte saw sociology’s task as a difficult one
- 1. The discovery of the general laws of society would have to be based on the collection and analysis of data on humans and their social environment
- 2. Although his schemes were complex and dense, Comte played an important role in the growing popularity of science and materialism in the mid-nineteenth century
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