Essay on Comte’s Views On Sociology

These sciences have taken time to become free from theological and metaphysical speculation and thinking. Hence, Comte argued that sociology too would require some time to attain the full status of the positive science. Comte believed that sociology would be helped to become scientific by means of his writings.

Social Statics and Social Dynamics:

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According to Comte, there are two divisions in sociology: Social statics and social dynamics. The distinction between these two does not refer to two classes of facts, but they represent two aspects of the same theory. The distinction corresponds to the double conception of order and progress. Order and progress, or statics and dynamics, are hence always correlative to each other.

(i) Social Statics:

Social statics refers to “the study of the laws of action and reaction of the different parts of social order…” It studies the balance of mutual relations of elements within a social whole. It deals with the major institutions of society such as family, economy or policy. It inquires into the co-existence of social phenomena.

Comte stressed that there must always be a “spontaneous harmony between the whole and the part of the social system.” The parts of a society cannot be studied separately, “as if they had an independent existence”. When the harmony between the parts is lacking a pathological situation may prevail. Social statics emphasises the unity of society or social organisation.

(ii) Social Dynamics:

If statics examines how the parts of societies are interrelated, social dynamics focuses on whole societies as the unit of analysis, and reveals how they developed and changed through time. Social dynamics was equated by Comte with human progress and evolution. It inquires as to how the human civilisation progresses in different stages. Comte was convinced towards ever increasing perfection.

Nature and Features of Sociology – Comte’s Views:

Comte defined sociology as the science of social phenomena “subject to natural and invariable laws the discovery of which is the object of our investigation”. He mentioned the following features of sociology in some or the other context:

1. Sociology is the objective analysis of social phenomena.

2. Sociology is an abstract science.

3. Sociology is a synthetic science. It synthesises the knowledge of all the other sciences.

4. Like all the other sciences, sociology can also provide the knowledge of the future in the sense, it can make predictions.

5. Sociology is not just a science. It is a science committed to social reconstruction and moral rejuvenation.

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