Skip to main content


Edited by: Published: 2010
+- LessMore information
Download PDF

Positivism is the name of a philosophical doctrine created in France by Auguste Comte. As a term of research in human sciences, positivism has come to be closely associated with the idea of fact-based investigation, being a pejorative variation of empiricism. This entry discusses the various definitions and applications of positivism.


When positivism as a term is used in the history of historiography, it tends to refer to the work of scholars in the Third Republic in France; positivistic historians in this context means scholars who produced historical research that followed a rigorous method of systematic investigation of sources (what historians of the Annales school pejoratively called histoire historisante). In social sciences, positivism has become a synonym for a rejection of metaphysics and a heightened concern ...

Looks like you do not have access to this content.

Reader's Guide

  • All
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • W
  • X
  • Y
  • Z

      Copy and paste the following HTML into your website