Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)

Sociology Pd.7 Kelsea Cantley


Herbert was born in Derby England in 1820 in April on the 27th. He is the child of nine but the only one to survive infancy. Herbert's younger years, he was influenced by the individualism and the anti-establishment and the anti-clerical views of his father. Herbert was then trained as a civil engineer for the railway. In his early 20s Herbert had changed his ways and started focusing on journalism and political writings. From the years 1848 to 1853, Herbert had worked as a writer and subeditor for the economists financial weekly and this brought him into contact with different political conversationalists. In his early years as a writer, he had defended a big number of radical causes such as nationalization. Herbert Spencer's first book came out in 1851, " social statics ". In his writings of this book, Herbert presents the development of human freedom and defense of individual liberties. These were based off of evolutionary theory. Herbert's uncle Thomas who raised him at age 13 had died in 1853 and Herbert inherited a small amount of money that devoted himself to writing without depending on being employed. Herbert started experiencing serious health problems. With his illness, Herbert was only able to write a few hours a day. Herbert was offered rewards and honors but declined most of them. within his lifetime, Herbert sold one million copies of his books and they have been translated into different languages. Herbert then died in 1903, December 8th.

10 Facts

Herbert Spencer's Life

1. Herbert dealt with evolution of phenomena of all classes.

2. Herbert came from a family of staunch dissenters.

3. Engineering is what influenced Herbert into various fields, mainly biology.

4. Examining fossils is where his interest in evolution came from.

5. Biology, Sociology, Psychology, and ethics in 1858 when conceived the fields.

6. In 1902 he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

7. Predicted that humanity would become completely adapted to the requirements of living in a society with the consequential withering away of the state.

8. Herbert defended the role of women in society.

9. His second book was less successful than his first book.

10. Herbert's illness allowed him to only write a few hours each day.

Best Known For

    • Developing and applying evolutionary theory to philosophy, psychology and the study of society.
    • Helping to develop the functionalist perspective, one of the major theoretical frameworks in sociology.
    • His political thoughts, primarily his defense of natural rights and for criticisms of utilitarian positivism.