Types of Social Dynamics According to Comte

According to Comte, social progress is more important than social order. He considers progress as an essential element of the society. Social progress has definite goal and direction. The goal of social progress is the attainment of scientific and positive stage of human thinking. It is to study the laws of succession of social phenomena. Society is always changing, but the change is ordered and subject to social laws. Social Dynamics is a science which tries to discover the laws and principles underlying social change and progress. It also tries to find out the conditions necessary to maintain the continuity of social progress.

According to comte there are three types of social progress:

(i) Physical Progress

(ii) Intellectual Progress

(iii) Moral Progress.

(i) Physical Progress:

By physical progress we mean the progress in outward living conditions, like housing, agricultural and industrial production etc. physical progress provides base for social progress. It is the most fundamental progress of mankind. In its absence no other kind of progress is possible. Physical progress is the first rung in the ladder of social progress.

(ii) Intellectual Progress:

By intellectual progress we understand the processes of social cohesion and social disintegration; and also the forces which lead to social disruption and disorder. Comte believed that if our intellect can be made to accept the importance of social cohesion, our selfish feelings will automatically turn into altruistic desires. The increase in feeling of altruism would in turn lead to great strides in social progress.

(iii) Moral Progress:

In his book Positive Polity, Comte attached great importance to moral progress. He regarded the feeling element to be of higher value than the intellectual element. He gave more importance to morality in comparison with intellect. Deviating from his general philosophy, Comte began to regard morality to be the highest aim of man’s development. He gave the name of Religion of Humanity to this new look.

If there is an essential order of all societies, dynamics must be subordinated to statics. By starting from the anatomy of every human society, we shall understand what history is. Then instead of the terms statics and dynamics, it will be better to use the terms order and progress. “Progress is the development of order”.

Social Statics is the study of the consensus. It leads us to ask what the essential organs of every society are. It begins as a simple positive analysis of anatomy of various societies, of the bonds of mutual solidarity among the institutions of a particular collectivity with the analysis of the essential order of every human collectivity.

Social Dynamics consists merely of the description of the successive stages through which human societies pass. It will retrace the successive and necessary stages of the development of the human mind and of human societies. As social statics has revealed the essential order of every human society, social dynamics will, ultimately retrace the vicissitudes through which this fundamental order has passed before arriving at the final goal of positivism.

Submitted by : Dr. Akshita, Category : Sociology