Juliette Grange

Auguste Comte - Politics and Science Publication date : September 1, 2000

Remembered for his philosophy of science, his classification of science and his encyclopaedia, Auguste Comte is often regarded today as a figure from the past whose work is no longer relevant although it played a part in the history of ideas. His writings are often reduced to a few excerpts and stereotypes: the law of the three phases of intellectual development, the founding of sociology and the religion of humanity. The resulting appraisal is often ironic: Comte is equated with positivism and then quickly dismissed. This book is not a historical or philosophical monograph or commentary. Instead, Juliette Grange, one of the best French specialists on Auguste Comte, has reread and reappraised Comte in the light of contemporary thought.
Comte developed a politics of science. Industrial politics, the organisation of research, the influence of the exact sciences on the way we regard politics lie at the heart of his thought. Grange examines the most significant aspects of Comte's epistemology, but also questions some of his political, moral and religious standpoints. The author's brilliant synthesis gives readers the tools with which to read Comte from a contemporary angle and ultimately opens the way for a more personal reflection on the nature of the relations between science and politics as they exist today.

Juliette Grange is a professor at the University of Nancy-II
She is the author of The Philosophy of Auguste Comte.