Comte is in no true sense a follower of Saint-Simon, but it was undoubtedly Saint-Simon who launched him, to take Comte's own word, by suggesting the two starting-points of what grew into the Comtist system - first, that political phenomena are as capable of being grouped under laws as other phenomena; and second, that the true destination of philosophy must be social, and the true object of the thinker must be the reorganization of the moral, religious and political systems. We can readily see what an impulse these far-reaching conceptions would give to Comte's meditations.
His later hero was the emperor Nicholas, "the only statesman in Christendom," - as unlucky a judgment as that which placed Dr Francia in the Comtist Calendar.
The first step in this direction is to arrange scientific method and positive knowledge in order, and this brings us to another cardinal element in the Comtist system, the classification of the sciences.
Littre, by far the most eminent of the scientific followers of Comte, concedes a certain force to Spencer's objections, and makes certain secondary modifications in the hierarchy in consequence, while still cherishing his faith in the Comtist theory of the sciences.
The Comtist replies that the task is philosophic, and is not to be judged by the minute accuracies of science.