The Enlightenment in mid- eighteenth century France provided an historical
and social context text for the emergence of classical sociological theory. The Enlightenment n emphasized individual’s possessions of critical reason and was opposed to traditional authority in society and religion. During this time, Philosophers, also known as thinkers argued and opposed authority in the government, religion, and knowledge. Reason and knowledge were two ideas that were hard to grasp in those days. Everyone had different viewpoints, but the problem of reasoning was that no one knew what or who to believe. Through the process philosophers came up with the term “individualism.” They felt that all individuals gained knowledge, which was seen as an independent production of individual reason, practice, or action. The church and state help power over all of the people, making decisions for their everyday lives- including political, social, moral, economic, and material issues. Since the church and states held power, everyone was arranged in a hierarchy from highest to lowest. God was the highest and rocks were the lowest. The people were divided from nobility and clergy to serfs and peasants.
Drawing on the program of liberal individualism with its emphasis on reason, freedom, and contractual relations, August Comte, father of sociology brought about the term “sociology.” Individualism is a term that explains that every person should focus on their individual lives and ways for it to be successful.
August Comte believed that people acted in such a way as to correspond with the way they thought. He wanted individuals to know the world they lived in and to understand their way of thinking. He felt that the human mind evolved through three stages called “the law of three stages.” He felt that the mind developed from a theological stage, through a metaphysical stage, to a positive stage. The first stage known as the theological sta...