(1798 - 1857)
The son of ardent Royalist and Roman Catholic parents, Auguste Comte rejected his parents views and entered the prestigious École Polytechnique at age sixteen to study the advanced sciences. Comte achieved his greatest fame not as a scientist but as a philosopher, however, and is considered the founder of both sociology and philosophical positivism. Comte’s magnum opus, Course of Positive Philosophy, was written between 1830 and 1842 and placed the foundation of all knowledge on observable positive facts ascertained through a rigorous application of the scientific method over metaphysical and theological speculations. Comte died in Paris in 1857.