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The range of social scientific methods has also expanded. Sociological reasoning predates the foundation of the discipline. There is evidence of early sociology in medieval Arab writings. Comte used this term to describe a new way of looking at society. Comte endeavoured to unify history, psychology and economics through the scientific understanding of the social realm. Comte gave a powerful impetus to the development of sociology, an impetus which bore fruit in the later decades of the nineteenth century. But by insisting on the irreducibility of each of his basic sciences to the particular science of sciences which it presupposed in the hierarchy and by emphasizing the nature of sociology as the scientific study of social phenomena Comte put sociology on the map.
But Comte’s clear recognition of sociology as a particular science, with a character of its own, justified Durkheim in regarding him as the father or founder of this science, in spite of the fact that Durkheim did not accept the idea of the three states and criticized Comte’s approach to sociology. Marx may be regarded as the “true father” of modern sociology, “in so far as anyone can claim the title. To have given clear and unified answers in familiar empirical terms to those theoretical questions which most occupied men’s minds at the time, and to have deduced from them clear practical directives without creating obviously artificial links between the two, was the principal achievement of Marx’s theory. Marxism made its conclusions a burning issue, and so made the search for evidence more zealous and the attention to method more intense. It is estimated that he sold one million books in his lifetime, far more than any other sociologist at the time.