What does positivism mean?

Definitions for positivism
ˈpɒz ɪ təˌvɪz əmpos·i·tivism

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word positivism.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. positivism, logical positivismnoun

    the form of empiricism that bases all knowledge on perceptual experience (not on intuition or revelation)

  2. positivity, positiveness, positivismnoun

    a quality or state characterized by certainty or acceptance or affirmation and dogmatic assertiveness


  1. positivismnoun

    A doctrine that states that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge, and that such knowledge can only come from positive affirmation of theories through strict scientific method, refusing every form of metaphysics.

  2. positivismnoun

    Practical spirit, sense of reality, concreteness.

  3. positivismnoun

    A school of thought in jurisprudence in which the law is seen as separated from moral values, i.e. the law is posited by lawmakers (humans).


  1. Positivism

    Positivism is an empiricist philosophical theory that holds that all genuine knowledge is either true by definition or positive—meaning a posteriori facts derived by reason and logic from sensory experience. Other ways of knowing, such as theology, metaphysics, intuition, or introspection, are rejected or considered meaningless. Although the positivist approach has been a recurrent theme in the history of western thought, modern positivism was first articulated in the early 19th century by Auguste Comte. His school of sociological positivism holds that society, like the physical world, operates according to general laws. After Comte, positivist schools arose in logic, psychology, economics, historiography, and other fields of thought. Generally, positivists attempted to introduce scientific methods to their respective fields. Since the turn of the 20th century, positivism has declined under criticism from antipositivists and critical theorists, among others, for its alleged scientism, reductionism, overgeneralizations, and methodological limitations.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Positivismnoun

    a system of philosophy originated by M. Auguste Comte, which deals only with positives. It excludes from philosophy everything but the natural phenomena or properties of knowable things, together with their invariable relations of coexistence and succession, as occurring in time and space. Such relations are denominated laws, which are to be discovered by observation, experiment, and comparison. This philosophy holds all inquiry into causes, both efficient and final, to be useless and unprofitable


  1. Positivism

    Positivism is a philosophy of science based on the view that information derived from logical and mathematical treatments and reports of sensory experience is the exclusive source of all authoritative knowledge, and that there is valid knowledge only in scientific knowledge. Verified data received from the senses are known as empirical evidence. This view holds that society, like the physical world, operates according to general laws. Introspective and intuitive knowledge is rejected. Although the positivist approach has been a recurrent theme in the history of Western thought, the modern sense of the approach was developed by the philosopher and founding sociologist Auguste Comte in the early 19th century. Comte argued that, much as the physical world operates according to gravity and other absolute laws, so also does society.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Positivism

    the philosophy so called of Auguste Comte (q. v.), the aim of which is to propound a new arrangement of the sciences and a new theory of the evolution of science; the sciences he classes under the categories of abstract and concrete, and his law of evolution is that every department of knowledge passes in the history of it through three successive stages, and only in the last of which it is entitled to the name of science—the Theological stage, in which everything is referred to the intervention of the gods; the Metaphysical, in which everything is referred to an abstract idea; and the Positive, which, discarding at once theology and philosophy, contents itself with the study of phenomena and their sequence, and regards that as science proper. Thus is positivism essentially definable, in Dr. Stirling's words, as "a method which replaces all outlying agencies, whether Theological deities or Metaphysical entities, by Positive laws; which laws, and in their phenomenal relativity, as alone what can be known, ought alone to constitute what is sought to be known." See Dr. Stirling's "Schwegler."

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of positivism in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of positivism in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

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"positivism." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 24 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/positivism>.

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    an unincorporated business owned by a single person who is responsible for its liabilities and entitled to its profits
    • A. proprietary
    • B. contiguous
    • C. soft-witted
    • D. articulate

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