By Auguste Comte
Translated by Richard Congreve
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2009
Online Publication Date:October 2010
Original Publication Year:1891
Subjects: Theology , History of ideas and intellectual history
This English edition of The Catechism of Positive Religion was published in 1891, thirty-four years after the death of Comte, the French philosopher of science and politics and founder of positivism, whose work was widely read in the later nineteenth century. Comte's self-published French original of 1852, translated here, outlines his progressive ideal of 'sociocracy', which would provide a systematic basis, free of metaphysics, for intellectual and moral transactions among humans. Congreve's edition, in common with others, divides the book into five parts. The introduction contains two dialogues, entitled General Theory of Religion and Theory of Humanity. Parts 1–3 respectively consider the Positivist's private and public 'worship'; 'doctrine', including the external world and human society and ethics; and 'regime' or way of life, private and public. The final two dialogues cover polytheism, monotheism and theocracy. This book remains of interest as an early precursor of secular humanist ethics.
First Part - EXPLANATION OF THE WORSHIP
Second Part - EXPLANATION OF THE DOCTRINE
Third Part - EXPLANATION OF THE REGIME, OR SYSTEM OF LIFE
CONCLUSION: GENERAL HISTORY OF RELIGION
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