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Auguste Comte
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Book description

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.

Reviews

‘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 …'

Source: The Times Literary Supplement

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