Early Social Theorists: Auguste Comte And Emile Durkheim

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Early Social Theorists Sociology developed out of the concepts of philosophy. So as should be expected, some of the great thinkers of philosophy contributed to the development of this science. The two main driving forces behind the science of sociology were Auguste Comte and Emile Durkheim, and although their theories were developed over 100 years ago, their concepts still remain relevant to the social issues of today. Auguste Comte Auguste Comte was a French philosopher who is credited for being the father of positivism and for creating the science of sociology. Comte originally coined this science as social physics, but he later changed the name to sociology (Moberg, 2013). In describing how society explains the world around them, Comte developed the theory of the Law of Three stages. Through this theory, he broke down the growth of science and individual development into three distinct stages. Law of Three Stages Comte’s called the first stage of the Law of Three Stages, the theological stage. Comte proposed in the theological stage societies and the people in those societies believed everything around them occurred due to direct intervention from the gods. In the theological stage, members of society explained occurrences in the world…show more content…
One of Comte’s may concerns was the corrosive effects that the increase in the division of labor were having on society. Comte was concerned that Marx’s views and predictions would become a social reality (Moberg, 2013). Although Comte’s philosophical and sociological views did not align with Marxism, and were actually viewed as a reaction of alternative view to those concepts presented by Marx, this opposing reaction can be seen as being a key factor of influence by Marx. However, as Marx was concerned with philosophizing about what cause society to collapse, Comte was philosophizing about why society would and could remain together (Moberg,

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