Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier Comte, the founder of the Positive philosophy, was born at Montpellier, in France, Jan. 19, 1798. Entering the Ecole Polytechnique at Paris in his seventeenth year, he showed mathematical talent, but was expelled for insubordination.
In 1818 he met St. Simon, and for six years he remained under the influence of that philosopher; but in 1824 he broke away and entered on an independent philosophical career. In 1826 he expounded to a distinguished audience his system of Positive philosophy, but during the course had an attack of insanity which lasted for a few months. Between 1830 and 1842 he published his “Cours de Philosophie Positive.” From 1835 to 1845 he acted as examiner at the Ecole Polytechnique, but after 1845 he was supported by a “subsidy” from his admirers. Comte married in 1825, but his marriage was not happy, and ended in a separation in 1842. He died on September 5, 1857. His other important works are “The System of Positive Politics” and the “Positivist Catechism.”