Herbert Spencer

Jordan Green


Herbert Spencer was born on April 27, 1820 in Derby, England. He was the eldest of 9 children, but the other children did not survive infancy. Spencer's father was a school teacher. He also grew up in a Methodist household. Spencer trained for a civil engineer on railways. But in his early twenties he switched to journalism and political writing. Spencer's first book came out in 1851, Social Statics. Spencer continued his writing. In 1883 at the French academy of moral and political science he was elected a correspomding memebr of the philosophical section. His work became influential in the United States. On December 8,1903 Spencer died due to a long illness.

10 research and contribution facts

  1. Spencer was among the first to discover that human society can be studied scientifically.
  2. The examination of a fossil taken from railroad cuts is how Spencers interest in evolution started.
  3. In his famous article "The Development Hypothesis" he rejected special creation and espoused organic evolution.
  4. In 1858 Spencer brought forth the idea of surveying the fields sociology, biology, ethics, and psychology through evolution.
  5. Spencer was often attacked for comparing society to a kind of organism in The Principles of Sociology.
  6. Spencer coined the term " super-organic"
  7. Spencer brought the environments effect on institutions to attention, for example rugged mountain areas develop confederacies rather than monarchies.
  8. Spencer is the most famous for using the survival of the fittest in human society.
  9. Spencer coined ther term " survival of the fittest"
  10. Herbert's method was significantly influenced by the positivism of Auguste Comte.