Herbert Spencer

English sociologist and philosopher


  • Herbert Spencer was one of the first advocates of evolution.
  • He compared society to the human body
  • He said it was composed of parts working together to promote well being and survival
  • He was an English philosopher, biologist, anthropologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era.
  • He was one of the principal proponents of evolutionary theory in the mid 19th century
  • His reputation at the time rivaled that of Charles Darwin.
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  • Spencer took the theory of evolution one step beyond biology and applied it to say that societies were organisms that progress through changes similar to that of a living species.
  • It was his philosophy that societies would begin simple and then progress to a more complex form.
  • It was Herbert Spencer, not Darwin, who coined the phrase 'survival of the fittest'
  • It was due to the fact that he believed human behavior was designed in a way that strives for self-preservation.
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HerbertSpencer: just took Darwin's theory & applied it to how societies change and evolve over time
CharlesDarwin: Cool