Auguste Comte proclaimed himself the founder of sociology and, on the whole, this claim is accepted. His most important work is the six-volume Cours de Philosophie Positive of which this present book is a selective abridgement. Comte, as this selection shows, was a methodological visionary. He was an eminently successful terminological innovator and to him we owe not only 'sociology' and 'positivism' but also 'biology' and 'altruism'. Professor Andreski, in his lucid introduction, assesses Comte's place under six headings, as scientist, philosopher, sociological theorist, sociological historian, reformer and methodologist. But this selection from Comte's works will be most welcomed because it provides a modern English translation of the main body of his thought.
Introduction. 1. Course in Positive Philosophy 1.1. Aim of the Course 1.2. Plan of the Course 1.3. Philosophic Considerations on all Mathematical Science 1.4. Philosophic Considerations on Astronomical Science 1.5. Philosophic Considerations on Physics 1.6 Philosophic Considerations on Chemistry 1.7. Philosophic Considerations on Biological Science 1.8. Preliminary Considerations on the Necessity of Social Physics 1.9. Fundamental Characteristics of the Positive Method in the Study of Social Phenomena 1.10. Restrictions on the Historical Operation 1.11. Summary Appreciation on the Final Effect of Positive Philosophy 2. Contents of the Six Volumes of the Cours 3. Plan of the Cours