Apriorism of August Comte and positivism of William Whewell: communicative dissent by substantial consensus

Alexan­der Yu. Antonovs­ki
Insti­tute of Phi­los­o­phy, Russ­ian Acad­e­my of Sci­ences
Raisa E. Barash
Insti­tute of Soci­ol­o­gy, Russ­ian Acad­e­my of Sci­ences

Apri­or­ism of August Comte and pos­i­tivism of William Whewell: com­mu­nica­tive dis­sent by sub­stan­tial con­sen­sus

Abstract. The arti­cle intro­duces the work by William Whewell “Auguste Comte and the Pos­i­tivism.” It is main­tained by the authors that the Comte’s ideas are con­sid­ered in this essay only as a pre­text and an excuse to declare a gen­er­al protest against the grow­ing crit­i­cal atti­tude rel­a­tive to sci­en­tif­ic and social life, and also both to the evo­lu­tion of nature and sci­ence, and to the devel­op­ment of the social order. This work by Whewell can be called the last man­i­festo of the so-called “old Euro­pean seman­tics” with its doc­trine of “truth per­fec­tion­ism”, which assumes the achieve­ment of the final state in the devel­op­ment of sci­ence, in which the basic truths would be for­mu­lat­ed for­ev­er.

Key­words: William Whewell, Auguste Comte, apri­or­ism, pos­i­tivism, social epis­te­mol­o­gy, social phi­los­o­phy of sci­ence, com­mu­ni­ca­tion.



Alexan­der Yu. Antonovs­ki: The report­ed study was fund­ed by Rus-sian Foun­da­tion for Basic Research, project No. 17–03-00812-ОGN “The rise of the phi­los­o­phy of sci­ence. William Hewell, a com­mu­ni­ca-tion cir­cle and its effects for the 20th cen­tu­ry.”

Raisa E. Barash: The report­ed study was fund­ed by Russ­ian Foun­da­tion for Basic Research, project No. 17–03-00733 “The The­o­ry of the Niklas Luhmann’s Com­mu­nica­tive Sys­tems in its Apli­ca­tion to the Russ­ian Soci­ety”.


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