This volume continues to explore the life and works of Auguste Comte during his so-called second career. It covers the period from the coup d'etat of Louis Napoleon in late 1851 to Comte's death in 1857. During these early years of the Second Empire, Comte became increasingly conservative and anxious to control his disciples. This study offers the first study of the tensions within his movement. Focusing on his second masterpiece, the Systeme de politique positive, and other important books, such as the Synthese subjective, Mary Pickering not only sheds light on Comte's intellectual development but also traces the dissemination of positivism and the Religion of Humanity throughout many parts of the world.
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.
Introduction; 1. The coup d'etat and its consequences; 2. Comte's stumblings; 3. The vicissitudes of Positivism during the early empire; 4. Systeme de politique positive: natural and social philosophy; 5. Systeme de politique positive: Comte's philosophy of history; 6. Systeme de politique positive: Comte's utopia; 7. The last years: politics and propaganda; 8. The last flurry of activity: the Testament and Synthese subjective; 9. The death of the great priest of humanity and his influence; Conclusion.