Positivism is a current of philosophical, sociological and political thought that emerged in the mid-19th century in France. The main idea of positivism was that scientific knowledge should be recognized as the only true knowledge . Positivism definition
The main creator of the positivist movement was the French thinker Auguste Comte (1798-1857), gaining international prominence between the middle of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.
According to positivism, superstitions, religions and other theological and metaphysical teachings should be ignored, as they do not contribute to the development of humanity.
In keeping with Comte’s principles, the first ideas of what Positivism was to become arose as an offshoot of the Enlightenment.
This occurred from the social crises that exploded in Europe at the end of the Middle Ages and with the emergence of the so-called “industrial society”, marked by the French Revolution.
The term “positive” first appeared in the book “Appeal to Conservatives,” written by Conte in 1855. He describes the Law of the Three States , namely the steps by which humanity has passed (and passes) in relation to their views and valuations of life. Positivism definition
- Theological : is the explanation of natural phenomena from supernatural beliefs. It seeks to find the “meaning of life“, when human imagination and creativity overlap with rationality.
- Metaphysical or Abstract : it is a middle ground between the “theological” state and “positivism”, as man continues to search for the same answers to the questions asked in the theological phase, however, supernatural beliefs are replaced by abstract forces.
- Positive : this step is not concerned with the motives or purposes of things, but with how they happen; the process.
For Comte, sciences based on analysis and observation should be considered positivist. Examples are: mathematics, physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology and sociology (which had been newly created and was studied using statistical data). Positivism definition
Characteristics of Positivism
Positivism believes that a theory can only be taken as true if it is proven using valid scientific techniques.
Another characteristic of positivist thinking is the idea of cumulative science, that is, that it is transcultural, reaches all of humanity, regardless of which culture it arose or developed. Positivism definition
The idea of positivist thinking was centered on seven terms and meanings, according to Comte:
The legal positivism is different from philosophical positivism proposed by Comte.
In the legal field, positivism is seen as a right imposed by the will of the human being, that is, a postulated right, a positive right. The right is exercised objectively, being based on real and scientific facts.