Herbert Spencer

By : Sydney Maurer

Background Information

Herbert Spencer was a British sociologist who lived during the 19th century. He was known for incorporating Evolution Theory with his research. He was the only child out of nine to make it past infancy and childhood. Growing up, he was very influenced by his parents and their individualistic views. Prior to being an eclectic and diverse journalist in his early twenties, he was trained in railroad civil engineering. As he grew older, he avoided going out in public and developed a neurotic or brain illness. This illness affected him because he could only allow him to write a couple hours a day, he had to wear earmuffs, and refused to lecture. It took him years to write one book about human freedoms and liberties. These illnesses finally took a toll and he died December 8, 1903.

10 Facts

  1. Coined phrase "survival of the fittest".
  2. Wanted to make people to explore the unknown with a more scientific view than a theological view.
  3. Hated public school systems because it was more of a competition than learning for the life after high school.
  4. Did not like authority.
  5. Declined most of the awards he was awarded.
  6. Wrote Social Statistics, or the Conditions Essential to Human Happiness and The Principle of Psychology. They are about human freedoms and liberties, and evolution.
  7. Influenced by Auguste Comte.
  8. Accepted into Cambridge University but declined the offer and read to further his education and intelligence.
  9. Thought students should take classes that would help them in life.
  10. Said society are small groups of people that, over time, come together.