Positivism Pos"i*tiv*ism, n. A system of philosophy originated by M. Auguste Comte, which deals only with positives. It excludes from philosophy everything but the natural phenomena or properties of knowable things, together with their invariable relations of coexistence and succession, as occurring in time and space. Such relations are denominated laws, which are to be discovered by observation, experiment, and comparison. This philosophy holds all inquiry into causes, both efficient and final, to be useless and unprofitable. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Positivism — is the philosophy that the only authentic knowledge is knowledge that is based on actual sense experience. Such knowledge can only come from affirmation of theories through strict scientific method. Metaphysical speculation is avoided. Though the …   Wikipedia

  • Positivism — • A system of philosophical and religious doctrines elaborated by Auguste Comte. Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Positivism     Positivism      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • positivism — n. The belief that laws exist to run society and are valid because they are enacted by humans, and ideals or worries about justice should not limit their application. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc …   Law dictionary

  • positivism — 1847, the philosophy of Auguste Comte, who published Philosophie positive in 1830; see POSITIVE (Cf. positive) + ISM (Cf. ism). Related: Positivist …   Etymology dictionary

  • positivism — ► NOUN Philosophy ▪ a system recognizing only that which can be scientifically verified or logically proved, and therefore rejecting metaphysics and theism. DERIVATIVES positivist noun & adjective positivistic adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • positivism — [päz′ə tiv iz΄əm] n. [Fr positivisme < positif] 1. the quality or state of being positive; certainty; assurance 2. overconfidence or dogmatism 3. a system of philosophy basing knowledge solely on data of sense experience; esp., a system of… …   English World dictionary

  • positivism — positivist, adj., n. positivistic, adj. positivistically, adv. /poz i teuh viz euhm/, n. 1. the state or quality of being positive; definiteness; assurance. 2. a philosophical system founded by Auguste Comte, concerned with positive facts and… …   Universalium

  • positivism — The acknowledged founder of positivism or ‘the positive philosophy’ was the French philosopher and social scientist Auguste Comte (1798 1857). Comte is also accredited with the invention of the term ‘sociology’ to describe his proposed science of …   Dictionary of sociology

  • positivism — The philosophy of Comte, holding that the highest or only form of knowledge is the description of sensory phenomena. Comte held that there were three stages of human belief: the theological, the metaphysical, and finally the positive, so called… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • positivism — a philosophy (of science), that originated in the Vienna Circle in the 1920s, which holds that philosophy should aspire to the same sort of rigor as science. Philosophy should provide strict criteria for judging sentences true, false and… …   Mini philosophy glossary

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