Definition of positivism in English:

positivism

noun

Philosophy
  • 1A philosophical system that holds that every rationally justifiable assertion can be scientifically verified or is capable of logical or mathematical proof, and that therefore rejects metaphysics and theism.

    • ‘This approach is a close cousin of the pre-war philosophical movement called positivism, which argues that in our investigation of the world we only encounter particular instances, never universals.’
    • ‘The neo-realists distilled the essence of realist thought and then laced it with a large dose of scientific positivism.’
    • ‘The book opens with a discussion of positivism and empiricism, positions which regrettably are still dominant within social and natural science.’
    • ‘It relies on a rudimentary and thus unstated metaphysics, in much the same way as empiricism and positivism.’
    • ‘Some see Galileo as a precursor of the philosophical empiricism of John Locke; others, of the positivism of Auguste Comte.’
    • ‘In fact, the branch that he refers to as econ-art can be seen as following the recognised scientific methodology of positivism.’
    1. 1.1 A humanistic religious system founded on positivism.
      • ‘Comte conceived the mission of positivism as the establishment of a Religion of Humanity that would anneal the social divisions tearing the world of the Industrial Revolution apart.’
      • ‘In other words, when sociology competes as its own form of positivism against religion, it reveals itself as a kind of ‘faith.’’
      • ‘As he himself grew older, Comte's efforts to create a culture based on science became intense and eccentric, his worship of humanity increasingly mystical and arcane, his positivism more and more like a religion without God.’
      • ‘I see them as often playing a symbolic role in theology's emergence from the ‘founding trauma’ of positivism.’
    2. 1.2
      another term for logical positivism
  • 2The theory that laws are to be understood as social rules, valid because they are enacted by authority or derive logically from existing decisions, and that ideal or moral considerations (e.g., that a rule is unjust) should not limit the scope or operation of the law.

    • ‘Legal positivism is a conceptual theory emphasizing the conventional nature of law.’
    • ‘Between these two theories of law, legal positivism is the more persuasive legal theory for many people.’
    • ‘Whereas positivism asks what are the facts, constructivism asks what are the assumptions; whereas positivism asks what are the answers, constructivism asks what are the questions.’
    • ‘All too often we see positivism written about as if it is a substantive theory (and a purely biological one at that) of human behavior, which it is not.’
    • ‘Legal positivism does not deny that moral and political criticism of legal systems are important, but insists that a descriptive or conceptual approach to law is valuable, both on its own terms and as a necessary prelude to criticism.’

Pronunciation:

positivism

/ˈpäzədivˌizəm/