The first step in this direction is to arrange scientific method and positive knowledge in order, and this brings us to another cardinal element in the Comtist system, the classification of the sciences.
The family, which is so important an element of the Comtist scheme of things, exists to carry the influence of woman over man to the highest point of cultivation.
Comte is in no true sense a follower of Saint-Simon, but it was undoubtedly Saint-Simon who launched him, to take Comte's own word, by suggesting the two starting-points of what grew into the Comtist system - first, that political phenomena are as capable of being grouped under laws as other phenomena; and second, that the true destination of philosophy must be social, and the true object of the thinker must be the reorganization of the moral, religious and political systems. We can readily see what an impulse these far-reaching conceptions would give to Comte's meditations.
By men to whom the Comtist religion is naught.
Littre, by far the most eminent of the scientific followers of Comte, concedes a certain force to Spencer's objections, and makes certain secondary modifications in the hierarchy in consequence, while still cherishing his faith in the Comtist theory of the sciences.
The Comtist maintains that even if these five volumes together fail in laying down correctly and finally the lines of the new science, still they are the first solution of a great problem hitherto unattempted.
The Comtist replies that the task is philosophic, and is not to be judged by the minute accuracies of science.
The Comtist system is utilitarianism crowned by a fantastic decoration.