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By Mary Pickering

This quantity starts off to discover the existence and works of Auguste Comte in the course of his so-called moment occupation, the arguable interval that begun in 1842 and lasted until eventually his dying. This quantity covers the years from 1842 to 1852, while Comte remodeled his confident philosophy right into a political and spiritual stream. It represents the 1st in-depth research of that circulate. concentrating on key books, resembling the Discours sur l'ensemble du positivisme, Mary Pickering connects Comte's highbrow improvement to the tumultuous ancient context and to episodes in his own existence, in particular his well-known courting with Clotilde de Vaux. The e-book examines for the 1st time why employees, medical professionals, girls, and recognized writers, comparable to John Stuart Mill, George Henry Lewes, and Emile Littré, have been interested in his idea.

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Comte to Valat, November 22, 1843, CG, 2:216. See also Comte to the Pr´esident de l’Acad´emie des Sciences, July 13, 1840, CG, 1:347; Comte to the Pr´esident de l’Acad´emie des Sciences, September 19, 1836, CG, 1:265. Comte to G´en´eral de Rostolan, August 18, 1845, CG, 3:95. On Comte’s plan to reform the school, see Jean Dhombres, “L’Image ‘scientiste’ de l’Ecole Polytechnique,” in Belhoste, La Formation polytechnicienne, 286. Comte to Mill, October 5, 1843, CG, 2:203. Belhoste, “Un Mod`ele a` l’´epreuve,” 26.

Since 1837, the year he became an admissions officer for the prestigious engineering school the Ecole Polytechnique, he had faced constant 1 2 Caroline Massin to Comte, March 29, 1843, MAC. Comte believed that languages could be learned in a year if one was not burdened by grammar books and teachers. Comte to Hadery, December 14, 1855, CG, 8:160. Comte to John Stuart Mill, August 24, 1842, CG, 2:76. 3 In fact, four days after finishing the Cours, Comte had to begin giving oral examinations to three hundred young men, first in Paris and then in the provinces.

For example, questions about the Pythagorean theorem appeared often in 1840 but almost never in 1843. One must also wonder how he could avoid repeating questions, given the number of exams he had to give. For 34 1843–1844: The Battle against the Pedantocracy in their arguments. Comte could not be both hard and easy at the same time! 92 Comte’s supporters on the committee contended that he had done a good job as examiner for the past six years. The students he admitted performed as well at the Ecole Polytechnique as the ones examined by his colleagues.

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