Positivism is the name for (at least) two philosophical directions. They have in common the idea of a science without theology or metaphysics, based only on facts about the physical / material world.
- The older positivism is based on the philosophical thinking of Auguste Comte in the 19th century.
- The newer logical positivism was founded in 1920s by the Vienna Circle.
- Positivism is the view that serious scientific inquiry should not search for ultimate causes deriving from some outside source but must confine itself to the study of relations existing between facts which are directly accessible to observation.