Other Names:
Positivistic mentality
Logical positivism

Positivism is a philosophical school 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 intuition, introspection, or religious faith, 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 although still popular, has declined under criticism in parts of social sciences from antipositivists and critical theorists, among others, for its alleged scientism, reductionism, overgeneralizations, and methodological limitations.


Logical positivism is a branch of philosophy that requires that certainty or truth has two alternative tests: (1) It is by definition so, e.g. 2+3=5 is true; (2) it can be independently verified by external observation to be so, e.g. you are reading this text at this moment. Anything else is logically meaningless, e.g. the statement "God exists".

Related Problems:
Psychology Psychology
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST