Topics: Positivism

Positivism

Positivism is an epistemological perspective and philosophy of science which holds that the only authentic knowledge is that which is based on sense experience and positive verification. Though the positivist approach has been a 'recurrent theme in the history of western thought from the Ancient Greeks to the present day' and appears in Ibn al-Haytham's 11th Century text Book of Optics, the concept was developed in the early 19th century by the philosopher and founding sociologist, Auguste Comte. As an approach to the philosophy of science deriving from Enlightenment thinkers like Pierre-Simon Laplace (and many others), Comte saw the scientific method as replacing metaphysics in the history of thought, and observed the circular dependence of theory and observation in science. Sociological positivism was later expanded by Émile Durkheim as a foundation to social research. At the turn of the 20th century the first wave of German sociologists, including Max Weber and Georg Simmel, reje... (read more)
Positivism
Moritz Schlick, the founding father of logical positivism and the Vienna Circle.