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The Catechism of Positive Religion

This English edition of The Catechism of Positive Religion was published in 1891, thirty-four years after the death of Comte, the French philosopher of science and politics and founder of positivism, whose work was widely read in the later nineteenth century. Comte's self-published French original of 1852, translated here, outlines his progressive ideal of 'sociocracy', which would provide a systematic basis, free of metaphysics, for intellectual and moral transactions among humans. Congreve's edition, in common with others, divides the book into five parts. The introduction contains two dialogues, entitled General Theory of Religion and Theory of Humanity. Parts 1-3 respectively consider the Positivist's private and public 'worship'; 'doctrine', including the external world and human society and ethics; and 'regime' or way of life, private and public. The final two dialogues cover polytheism, monotheism and theocracy. This book remains of interest as an early precursor of secular humanist ethics.
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Table of Contents

Preface; Positivist Library; Hint to the reader; Introduction; 1. Explanation of the worship; 2. Explanation of the doctrine; 3. Explanation of the regime, or system of life; 4. Conclusion; Tables; Index.

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