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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser


Auguste Comte and Positivism

John Stuart Mill




I'm listening to a book about Auguste Comte's positive philosophy, which is a subject in itself, but along with a philosophical framework to make sense of the evolution of human understanding of the world, Auguste Comte proposed a pseudo-religion, and system of government and social order based on his moral point of view of extreme altruism. One of his ideas is that it may be best for some families to work for others -- perhaps cooking and cleaning, or whatnot -- so the others could spend more of their time doing important work. Now, I don't have enough data to say this strongly, but I think it likely that many people of great accomplishment had others perform for them the more basic tasks of life. Thomas Jefferson with his hundreds of slaves comes to mind. I'm sure you could make a case for the efficiency or say without this division of labor, humanity would have lost out on great intellectual, political, or artistic work. But, do you think it is an agreeable model, overall and something to strive for generally?