Chapter

Comte's Calendar

in The Romantic Machine

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780226812205
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226812229 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226812229.003.0009
Comte's Calendar

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This chapter deals with paper technologies, focusing on Auguste Comte's philosophy. Comte's calendars, introduced as mnemonic devices and liturgical guidelines for the Religion of Humanity which grew out of his Course of Positive Philosophy, inscribed the rhythms of daily prayer as well as weekly and monthly collective rites into an annual, repeating order that retraced the historical steps undertaken in the gradual maturation of the organism of society. Comte, founder of positivism and sociology, described the sciences and their objects using terms ranging from regularity and aberration to organization, consensus, coordination, and series. The chapter presents an overview of his thought and its decisive institutional and personal contexts before revealing the final form of his positivism, the Religion of Humanity, as a technological innovation that coordinated past and future technological innovations. It also considers the hothouse of mechanical romanticism, the Ecole Polytechnique, and Comte's hierarchy of the sciences.

Keywords: Auguste Comte; philosophy; positivism; Religion of Humanity; sociology; Ecole Polytechnique; technological innovations; hierarchy of sciences; calendars; romanticism

Chapter.  13304 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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