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Comte after Positivism


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Introduction: Comte for a post-positivist world; Part I. Comte Then: 1. Mill versus Comte on 'interior observation'; 2. Mill versus Comte as positivist philosophers of science; 3. Comte's three-stage law; Part II. Comte Now: 4. Comte's ambiguous legacy: science defended or already justified?; 5. Cartesian ahistoricism and later epistemic analysis; 6. Comte and the very idea of a post-positivist philosophy; 7. Comte for tomorrow?

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This 1996 book provides a detailed, systematic reconsideration of Auguste Comte.


"This is the first volume to give an accurate account of his [Comte] principle teachings as well as a reassessment of his philosophical position in the light of post-positivistic intellectual trends...Recommended." The Reader's Review "Scharff's Comte After Positivism is a brilliant work of anamnesis; not a reproduction or a re-presentation of things past, nor an image of lost object, but rather a presentation of current philosophical amnesiacs acting out--but not always working through--scenes of their historical past...offers timely and insightful suggestions for a viable postanalytic philosophy." The European Legacy "Comte After Positivism provides telling intellectual history, incisive diagnosis of our present philosophical impasse, and a coherent vision of what postpositivist philosophy could become." Laurence D. Smith, The Journal of Mind and Behaviour

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