David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 32 (1):1-29 (2001)
This paper traces conceptual links between the works of Georges Cuvier and Auguste Comte. The primary conceptual link between the two, and the focus of this paper, is the ‘principle of the conditions of existence’. This principle lies at the heart of Cuvier's theoretical biology and it was adopted by Comte, in modified form, to serve as a foundational concept for his comprehensive and biologically oriented natural philosophy. Contrary to popular interpretations of Cuvier's thought, it is argued that both Cuvier and Comte understood the principle of the conditions of existence as the basis for a non-teleological form of explanation and a properly scientific alternative to the metaphysics of final causation. This conceptual link is historically significant, for the principle of the conditions of existence was also an important concept for French physiologists of the second half of the nineteenth century, including Claude Bernard, who were highly influenced by Comte's natural philosophy. Tracing the legacy of Cuvier in Comte's natural philosophy should thus clarify the work of both of these thinkers while bringing into focus an important line of nineteenth-century conceptual development
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Ernan McMullin (1993). Indifference Principle and Anthropic Principle in Cosmology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (3):359-389.
Dorinda Outram (1986). Uncertain Legislator: Georges Cuvier's Laws of Nature in Their Intellectual Context. Journal of the History of Biology 19 (3):323 - 368.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Michel Bourdeau, Auguste Comte. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Larry Laudan (1971). Towards a Reassessment of Comte's 'Méthode Positive'. Philosophy of Science 38 (1):35-53.
Auguste Comte (1975/1983). Auguste Comte and Positivism: The Essential Writings. University of Chicago Press.
Andrew Wernick (2001). Auguste Comte and the Religion of Humanity: The Post-Theistic Program of French Social Theory. Cambridge University Press.
Auguste Comte (1974). The Essential Comte. New York,Barnes & Noble.
Robert C. Scharff (1995). Comte After Positivism. Cambridge University Press.
Auguste Comte (1998). Early Political Writings. Cambridge University Press.
Thierry Leterre (2002). Auguste Comte Et le Positivisme John Stuart Mill Traduit de l'Anglais Par Georges Clémenceau, Texte Revu Et Présenté Par Michel Bourdeau Collection «Commentaires Philosophiques» Paris-Montréal, L'Harmattan, 1999, 204 P. [REVIEW] Dialogue 41 (01):185-.
Lucien Lévy-Bruhl (1903/1973). The Philosophy of Auguste Comte. [New York,A. M. Kelley.
Auguste Comte (1970). Écrits De Jeunesse, 1816-1828. Paris,Mouton.
Harvey Chisick (1998). Auguste Comte. International Studies in Philosophy 30 (2):150-151.
Auguste Comte (1972). Hierarchy of the Positive Sciences. In John Martin Rich (ed.), Readings in the Philosophy of Education. Belmont, Calif.,Wadsworth Pub. Co.
Jane M. Style (1928). Auguste Comte. London, K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd..
Arline Reilein Standley (1981). Auguste Comte. Twayne Publishers.
Added to index2010-09-02
Total downloads3 ( #439,653 of 1,700,257 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #362,609 of 1,700,257 )
How can I increase my downloads?