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Auguste Comte
An Intellectual Biography

Volume 2


Part of Auguste Comte Intellectual Biography

  • Date Published: November 2009
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521513258

£ 103.00

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About the Authors
  • This volume begins to explore the life and works of Auguste Comte during his so-called second career, the controversial period that began in 1842 and lasted until his death. This volume covers the years from 1842 to 1852, when Comte transformed his positive philosophy into a political and religious movement. It represents the first in-depth study of that movement. Focusing on key books, such as the Discours sur l'ensemble du positivisme, Mary Pickering connects Comte's intellectual development to the tumultuous historical context and to episodes in his personal life, especially his famous relationship with Clotilde de Vaux. The book examines for the first time why workers, doctors, women, and famous writers, such as John Stuart Mill, George Henry Lewes, and Emile Littré, were drawn to his thought.

    • This biography examines the life and thought of Auguste Comte, the founder of Positivism, sociology, the history of science, and the Religion of Humanity
    • It offers the first in-depth examination of his disciples and his political movement
    • It provides an analysis of one of the most famous couples in history, Comte and Clotilde de Vaux
    • It is an example of the 'new biography' because it places Comte's life and works in their historical and discursive contexts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Mary Pickering has now completed what has to be regarded as one of the great biographies of a major nineteenth-century French thinker. What is most obviously impressive about this work is its thoroughness, its mastery of the details of Comte's life and thought. It is clearly the result of a prodigious effort of research. Hardly less impressive are the depth, the coherence, and the originality of the picture of Auguste Comte that emerges from this biography.' Jonathan Beecher, University of California, Santa Cruz

    'Mary Pickering's monumental intellectual biography is … vigorous and accomplished …' The Times Literary Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521513258
    • length: 652 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 160 x 35 mm
    • weight: 1kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. 1843–1844: the battle against the pedantocracy
    2. Tensions in Comte's relationships, 1842–1846
    3. Clotilde de Vaux and the initial encounter with Comte
    4. The muse's tragic end
    5. Pain and recognition
    6. The revolution of 1848
    7. Discours sur l'ensemble du positivisme
    8. Personal and professional disappointments
    9. The early development of the Religion of Humanity
    10. The development of the Positivist Movement
    Concluding remarks.

  • Author

    Mary Pickering, San José State University, California
    Mary Pickering is Professor of History at San Jose State University. The author of Auguste Comte: An Intellectual Biography, Volumes I, II, and III, she has published in Journal of the History of Ideas, Journal of Women's History, Historical Reflections, Revue philosophique, and Revue international de philosophie.

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