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A. V. Tkachenko, A SYSTEM APPROACH TO THE WORKS OF A. COMTE, H. SPENCER AND OTHER FOUNDERS OF SOCIOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Журнал » Journal_eng » Journal 29 : A. V. Tkachenko, A SYSTEM APPROACH TO THE WORKS OF A. COMTE, H. SPENCER AND OTHER FOUNDERS OF SOCIOLOGICAL SCIENCE
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A SYSTEM APPROACH TO THE WORKS OF A. COMTE, H. SPENCER AND OTHER FOUNDERS OF SOCIOLOGICAL SCIENCE

 

A. V. Tkachenko,

MCU, Moscow

 

       The article deals with the main points of sociology of religion of Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer and other founders of sociological science. On the basis of the analysis of their scientific-methodological and religious concepts the author puts forward the thesis about the use of the system approach to study of religious phenomena by early positivists. It is emphasized that O. Comte and H. Spencer perceived religion as an integral part of the whole system of interdependent elements.

       Sociology of religion as a branch of sociology began its development since the emergence of this science. There were Сh. L. Montesquieu, Voltaire, I. Kant, F. Schleiermacher, H. Saint-Simon and other thinkers who lived mainly in the 18th – early 19th centuries among the ideological predecessors of the first sociologists. Their influence on the formation of sociology of religion is briefly described by the article author. At the same time, some little-known borrowings made by O. Comte and H. Spencer from T. Hobbes, A. Turgot and N. Condorcet and the parallels with views on religion of E. Littre, E. Tylor, V. Pareto, E. Durkheim, M. M. Kovalevsky, G. Le Bon, S. Freud and R. Aron are mentioned.

       There is the most detailed analysis of the contribution to sociology of religion by O. Comte in the present work. It is indicated that the founder of sociology considered society as a system functioning according to the laws of social statics and dynamics. Religion, in his view, as a part of society is subject to these laws and is in a position of a dynamic balance. In turn, this fact means that religion can be transformed. It allowed O. Comte to offer his own version of religion which according to his plan is capable to replace traditional denominations.

       Then the article analyzes H. Spencer’s sociological theory of religion. The main components of this theory are distinguished: the comparison of religious institutions with parts of an indivisible social organism and the allocation of their inherent social functions. The special attention is paid to the fact that neither O. Comte nor H. Spencer predicted the complete eradication of religion and its replacement by science.

       In the Conclusions and the Summary of the article the author notes the accordance of the views of O. Comte and H. Spencer with the modern perception of religion from the system approach perspective.

      

Key words: sociology of religion, the system approach, social system, social subsystem, social institution.

      

For citation: Tkachenko A. V. The Systems Approach in Sociology by A. Comte, H. Spencer and Other Founders of Sociological Science // Systems Psychology and Sociology. 2019. № 1 (29). P.  109-120

 

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