Last modified on September 26, 2018, at 19:15


Positivism is the philosophical theory that the only things that are true are those that have been directly experienced. Positivism also asserts that empiricism and the scientific method are the best approaches to uncovering the validity of scientific postulations about the universe (natural sciences) and questions about human behavior and social functioning (social sciences).

Auguste Comte is considered the father of Positivism.

Einstein on positivism

According to Einstein positivism states that what cannot be observed does not exist and it is "scientifically indefensible", because it is impossible to make a valid affirmations of what people 'can' or 'cannot' observe. He alienated himself from this position by explicitly stating: "I am not a positivist."[1][note 1]


  1. cf. Dirac once said, "That which is not observable does not exist," but these days what is said is, "I know my theory is right. Therefore anything required to make it work must also be right whether observable or not."[2]


  1. Antony Flew (2008). "PREFACE", There is a God, How the world's most notorious atheist changed his mind. HarperOne, XXIV. ISBN 978-0-06-133530-3. 
  2. Alex Williams, John Hartnett (2005). Dismantling the Big Bang. Green Forest, AR, USA: Master Books, 288. ISBN 978-0-89051-437-5. 

See also