The main principles of the Comtian system are derived from the Positive Polity and from two other works, - the Positivist Catechism: a Summary Exposition of the Universal Religion in Twelve Dialo ues between a Woman and a The g, g Elvis f Priest of Humanity; and, second, The Subjective Synthesis (1856), which is the first and only volume of a work upon mathematics announced at the end of the Positive Philosophy.
On the schism of the Positivist body which followed Comte's death, he was recognized as head of the section which accepted the full Comtian doctrine; the other section adhering to Littre, who rejected the religion of humanity as inconsistent with the materialism of Comte's earlier period.
But in the Comtian conception of social science, of which ethics and politics are the practical application, the knowledge of the laws of the evolution of society is of fundamental and continually increasing importance; humanity is regarded as having passed through a series of stages, in each of which a somewhat different set of laws and institutions, customs and habits, is normal and appropriate.
In France the Comtian tradition was maintained with important reservations and the abandonment of the religious aspect by Littre (q.v.), Taine and others.