Excerpt from The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte
Before examining the leading ideas of the Positive Philos Ophy, it will be well brie¿y to recall to the reader the historical conditions and environment of Comte's thought. For only by seeing Comte's theory in the light of... its relation to the theories of earlier thinkers can we understand its full significance. It will be necessary, however, to limit our examination of the historical relations between the Positive Philosophy and its more immediate predecessors to a few of the more central doctrines of that system. Given such a restricted survey, it will be sufficient to indicate the existence of tendencies of philosophical speculation already dominant, particularly in France, which in¿uenced, to a consider able extent, the formation of Comte's ideas. Thus we Shall not only be able to account historically for certain tendencies in Comte's thought, but we shall be able to indicate more clearly the implications of his leading ideas.
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