What Does Positivism Mean?


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Arun Raj Profile
Arun Raj answered
Positivism is an outlook which believes that one should look at a thing as a source of knowledge only when there is some sort of empirical evidence in it. Positivism likes to believe that knowledge is acquired only on the basis of perception of the senses rather than mere intuition.

Positivism likes to emphasise on science and is a keen advocate of empiricism, logical reasoning and pragmatism. Metaphysical speculations have no room for thought in positivism. In other words, every concept has to be logically explained and verified through scientific methodologies s to be taken as true. Positivism was explained in the philosophy of Auguste Comte who maintained that human thinking was passing unavoidably from a theological state into the metaphysical stage, and the middle stage which was important for the development of mankind was the positive or scientific stage.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Positivism is the idea that only such knowledge is admissible and acknowledged as true knowledge which stands on verifiable grounds via human faculties. Knowledge which can be tested, tried and measured is what Comte described as a positive. He had refuted metaphysical systems which relied on abstract reasoning and could not be verified through the scientific method. Auguste Comte's law of three stages is that thought in society evolves in three stages.

1) Theological : In this state humans progress through identification with supernatural and attribute all causality to divine origins. It is divided into three iterative stages as well,
I)   Animism
ii)  Polytheism
iii) Monotheism

2) Metaphysical: This the stage where society starts experiencing ideas and knowledge in abstract forms and metaphysical systems of apprehending concepts are often mistaken as science. But still laying a  basis for serious scientific study like Alchemy.

3) Positive: The state where society goes about material sciences and only acknowledges endeavors that have the propensity to yield verifiable results that can be measured, tested and applied.

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