Auguste Comte And Positivism by John Stuart Mill

By John Stuart Mill

For a while a lot has been acknowledged, in England and at the Continent, relating "Positivism" and "the optimistic Philosophy." these words, which throughout the lifetime of the eminent philosopher who brought them had made their means into no writings or discussions yet these of his only a few direct disciples, have emerged from the depths and manifested themselves at the floor of the philosophy of the age. it's not very well known what they symbolize, however it is known that they signify anything.

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Sample text

Because the good of the human race is the ultimate standard of right and wrong, and because moral discipline consists in cultivating the utmost possible repugnance to all conduct injurious to the general good, M. Comte infers that the good of others is the only inducement on which we should allow ourselves to act; and that we should endeavour to starve the whole of the desires which point to our personal satisfaction, by denying them all gratification not strictly required by physical necessities.

M. Comte looks on them with as great jealousy as any scholastic pedagogue, or ecclesiastical director of consciences. Every particular of conduct, public or private, is to be open to the public eye, and to be kept, by the power of opinion, in the course which the Spiritual corporation shall judge to be the most right. This is not a sufficiently tempting picture to have much chance of making converts rapidly, and the objections to the scheme are too obvious to need stating. Indeed, it is only thoughtful persons to whom it will be credible, that speculations leading to this result can deserve the attention necessary for understanding them.

This is the reason why it does not suffice to him that all should be ready, in case of need, to postpone their personal interests and inclinations to the requirements of the general good: he demands that each should regard as vicious any care at all for his personal interests, except as a means to the good of others--should be ashamed of it, should strive to cure himself of it, because his existence is not "systematized," is not in "complete unity," as long as he cares for more than one thing.

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