Positivism in a philosophical sense has nothing to do with being positive or not negative. I knew that already. Positivism means that only empirical science can generate meaningful results or serve towards a successful social order. The word positivism derives from the Latin pono meaning to put in place.
I had learned about positivism in my BA degree in history, but never understood why the word positivism was used. Now I do because I heard other students talking about it over coffee in the library. Almost ten years after I should have.