Article Information


Aleksandr Rybas (

Saint Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

Sociological Institute of RAS, Saint-Petersburg, Russia 

Citation: Rybas A.E. (2019) A.S. Lappo-Danilevskiy i kritika kontizma v sotsiologii [A.S. Lappo-Danilevsky and his Criticism of A. Comte’s Ideas in Sociology]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 22(5): 141–153 (in Russian).

Abstract. Critical remarks by A.S. Lappo-Danilevsky against the sociology of A. Comte are considered. The significance of Comte’s ideas for the development of Russian philosophy of the 19th century is analyzed, the theses that the reception of positivism in Russia was never dogmatic and that it always made Russian thinkers express their own views are defended. It is shown that Lappo-Danilevsky, while proving that the theoretical constructions of Comte should not be considered relating to scientific knowledge, basically reproduced the criticism that was expressed back in the 1860s by the proponents of positive philosophy, who offered the term “Auguste-Comteism” to distinguish the “positive” content of positivism from Comte’s subjective opinion. It is concluded that Lappo-Danilevsky was able to point out the weaknesses of Comte’s social physics. However, his characteristics can be considered true only if Comte’s ideas are regarded from the point of view of science. Obviously, Comte’s system can be interpreted in another way – as the theology of science, with its central problem of science justification. Such a view on the creative work of Comte, and above all on the religion of Mankind created by him, was characteristic of Russian religious philosophers of the second half of the 19th century, first of all, of V. S. Solovyov, who insisted that Comte had played a significant role in the development of philosophy of religion and proposed to canonize him in spite of his being an atheist.

Keywords: Russian positivism, A. Comte, A.S. Lappo-Danilevsky, V.S. Solovyov, social physics, the foundations of sociology, the problem of science.


The research was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research under the project No. 19-011-00398 "The second positivism in Russia: philosophical problems, influence, criticism".


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