chapter  VI
19 Pages

The Doctrine of Saint-Simon: The Foundation of Positivism

From the enumeration (of the works of Saint-Simon) which we have just touched on, it appears, at first, that Saint-Simon’s thinking pursued successively a two-pronged goal. In fact we have just seen that he concerned himself first with matters more particularly philosophical, and only later with social problems. But is there really a duality in his thought? Had he not come to sociology, to scientific politics, only through inability to satisfy his early aspirations for a total science? Was not his interest in social matters-as has been maintained (Michel, Idée de l'Êtat, 173.)—merely the result of his renunciation of loftier specula­ tions, and the sociologist in him merely a philosopher frustrated and discouraged by failure? To fail to appreciate at this point the unity of his system, is to disregard what is its fundamental principle. Quite the contrary, his sociology and philosophy are so intimately joined that far from their being extrinsic to each other it is actually difficult-almost impossible-to separate them or explain one independently of the other.