Although sociology as an independent science took shape in 19c, many philosophers considered the same problems before that time. Questions of social philosophy (or sociology in the broad sense of the word) were considered in Plato and Aristotle’s research papers. Socio-philosophical ideas of antiquity had a clearly expressed mythological, idealistic and utopian meaning. The main goal of the ancient social and philosophical concepts was the desire to improve society, to relieve it from internal conflicts and to prepare it for the fight against external danger. This struggle was the kind of a key message of the whole history of humanity. In view of this, each new generation of philosophers had to create new concepts for the harmonization of human society.

In the Middle Ages, a theological type of culture develops, therefore the reorientation of philosophical interest from the values ​​of earthly life to the problems of an absolute, supernatural world order has occurred. The social antagonism is translated into the plane of struggle between two worlds: divine and terrestrial, spiritual and material, good and evil. However, by the time of XIII century, when the germs of the new positive (scientific) knowledge began to break through, irrationalism began to lose its significance.

In modern times, the old ideas of the irrational-scholastic concepts of man and society lose their significance, and concepts of a rational nature, oriented toward the principles of scientific (positive) knowledge were formed. Although in general, the social theories of that time philosophers have represented a motley spectrum of different views, in which the rational and the irrational were combined. One of the branches of the rational direction of social theories was the Marxist doctrine - from their point of view, theories of social development were based on the principles of materialism and the revolutionary transformations of society. The positivists approached the analysis of society from the completely different perspective. They paid more attention to the spiritual aspects of social life.

The history of each science shows that at first, only separate elements of science are aroused, formed and developed, and then the name, explaining its essence and content is specified and fixed (1). In other words, the point is not in the term and not when and how it appeared. The fact is that every science arises as a response to the needs of social development. And although the very term sociology is associated with the name of O. Cont, this does not mean that it was he who created this science. His genius manifested itself in the fact that he was able to generalize and to see in a new light those emerging phenomena that characterized the late XVIII - early XIX century. During this period, under the influence of the Great French Revolution, a civil society was formed with all its qualitative characteristics and humanistic characteristics, the center of which gradually became a person in its specific social dimension.

The rapid development of capitalism, the growing wave of social conflicts, the contradictions in the functioning of bourgeois democracy urgently demanded not so much an abstract but a positivistic study and an explanation of social processes and phenomena. The proceeded rapid development of other social sciences - history, economics, law, social philosophy - just clarified a new set of problems that laid on the brink of these sciences and required independent consideration.

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