Herbert Spencer

(1858 - 1917)

Background.

He was born in Derby, England on April 27 1820. The oldest of nine siblings, but he was the only one to actually survive infancy. Herbert was influenced by individualism and the anti-establishment and anti-clerical views since he was young. He trained to be a civil engineer for railways, but later decided that Journalism and Political Writings were more for him. He was getting small inheritance from his Uncle so he never had to worry about employment until 1853, when Uncle Thomas passed away. About this time He began to experience serious health problems that affected him for the rest of his life. He stop leaving the house and writing for hours long through the day. He was elected as a corresponding member of philosophical section of the french academy of moral and political sciences. His health significantly deteriorated in the last two decades of his life and he passed away on December 8, 1903.

"No one can be perfectly free till all are free; no one can be perfectly moral till all are moral; no one can be perfectly happy till all are happy."

Facts:

  1. First book is called, Social Statics, or the Conditions Essential to Human Happiness.
  2. Second book is called, The Principles of Psychology. as in, Social Statics.
  3. He worked on a very lengthy project--the nine-volume A System Of Synthetic Philosophy (1862- 93). This work was only available through private subscriptions.
  4. Spencer's method was also synthetic. The purpose of each science or field of investigation was to gather data and to derive from these basic principles or laws and give rise to them.
  5. Given the variations in temperament and character in individuals, Spencer recognized that there were differences in what happiness specifically consists in (Social Statics).
  6. Based on Spencer's theory of sociocultural He and Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin came up with Social Darwinism.
  7. Came up with the saying "Survival of the fittest" based off sociology and politics. He used various theories of society.
  8. A enormously influential English Philosopher and agnostic of the Victorian era. He published a theory of evolution seven years before Darwin.
  9. Spencer had made the connection between biology and sociology.
  10. Herbert Spencer viewed society as a set of parts and as a experiment instead of