Born Feb. 2, 1801, in Paris; died there, June 2, 1881. French positivist philosopher and philologist. Member of the Académie Française (1871). Became a senator in 1875.
As a disciple and follower of A. Comte, Littré added a fourth stage—technology—to Comte’s doctrine of the three stages of human development. Littré did not share Comte’s later tendency toward religious mysticism. With G. N. Vyrubov, he founded and published the journal La Philosophie positive (vols. 1–26, 1867–81). He translated the works of Hippocrates and Pliny into French. He is the author of History of the French Language (vols. 1–2, 1863) and Dictionary of the French Language (vols. 1–4, 1863–72; vols. 1–7, 1958), which has retained its importance.
WORKSDe La Philosophie positive. Paris, 1845.
Paroles de philosophie positive, 2nd ed. Paris, 1863.
Auguste Comte et la philosophie positive, 3rd ed. Paris, 1873.
In Russian translation:
“Kont i Mill’.” In H. Taine, Ob ume i poznanii, vol. 2. St. Petersburg, 1872. (Translated from French.)
Neskol’ko slov po povodu polozhitel’noi filosofii. Berlin, 1865. (Translated from French.)
REFERENCESCaro, E. E. Littre i pozitivizm. Moscow, 1884. (Translated from French.)
Aquarone, S. R. A. The Life and Works of E. Littré. Leiden, 1958.