Sociology which is known as the science of society, is one of the youngest as well as one of the oldest of the social sciences. It is one of the youngest sciences because only recently it came to be established as a distinct branch of knowledge with its own distinct set of concepts and its own methods of inquiry. Sociology is also one of the oldest of the sciences. Since the dawn of civilization, society has been as a subject for speculation and inquiry along with other phenomena which have agitated the restless and inquisitive mind of man. Even centuries ago men were thinking about society and it should be organized and held views on man and his destiny, the rise and fall of the peoples and civilizations. Though they were thinking in sociological terms they were called philosophers, historians, thinkers, law-givers or seers. Thus, “Broadly it may be said that sociology had a four fold origin: in political philosophy, the philosophy of history, biological theories of evolution and movements for social and political reforms. Though sociology came to be established as a separate discipline in the 19th –century due to the efforts of the French Philosopher Auguste Comte. It is wrong to suppose that no social thought existed before him. Four thousands of years men have reflected upon societies in which they lived. In the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Manu,. Kautilya. Confucius, Cicero and others we find major attempts to deal methodically with the nature of Society Law, Religion, Philosophy, etc. Plato’s Republic, Aristotle's Politics, Kautilya's Arthashastra, Confucius Analets, Cicero's ' On Justice" are some of the ancient sources of social thought. However, sociology as an independent science came to be established only in the 19th century. The Founding Fathers of Sociology:
Auguste Comte (1798-1857)
Auguste Comte, the French philosopher, is traditionally considered as the Father of Sociology. Comte who invented the term Sociology was the first man to distinguish the subject-matter of Sociology from all the other sciences. He worked out in a series of books, a general approach to the study of society. Comte is regarded as the father of Sociology not because of any significant contributions to the science as such, but because of the great influence he had upon it'. It would be more appropriate to regard him as a philosopher of science rather than as a sociologist. Auguste Comte introduced the word sociology for the first time in his famous work ‘Positive Philosophy At About 1839’. The term "Sociology" is derived from the Latin word ‘Socius’, meaning companion or associate, and the Greek word ‘Logos’, meaning study of science. Thus the etymological meaning of sociology is the phenomena subject to natural and invariable laws, the discovery of which is the object of investigation. Auguste Comte devoted his main efforts to an inquiry into the nature of human knowledge and tried to classify all knowledge and to analyse the methods of achieving it. He concentrated his efforts to determine the nature of human and development. He also laboured to 'establish the methods to be employed in studying social phenomena. Auguste Comte believed that the science follows one another in a definite and logical order and that all inquiry goes through certain stages, (namely the theological, the metaphysical and the positive or scientific or empirical). Finally they arrive at the last or scientific stage or as he called the positive stage. In the positive stage, objective observation is substituted for speculation. Social phenomena like physical phenomena, he maintained, can be studied objectively by making use of the positive method. He thought that was time for inquiries into social problems and social phenomena ) enter into this last stage. So he recommended that the study of society be called the science of society, i.e. sociology. Comte proposed sociology to be studied in two main parts: (i) the social statics and (ii) the social dynamics....
Please join StudyMode to read the full document