Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
He was born in Derby. Educated mostly at home, Spencer worked first as a railways civil engineer beginning at age 16, writing in his spare time. In 1848, Spencer became a sub-editor on The Economist, then as now an important financial newspaper.
From that time onwards, he was a professional writer. In 1852 Spencer published The Developmental Hypothesis, and in 1855 produced Principles of Psychology. Spencer published a number of such works devoted to different domains, including Principles of Sociology and Principles of Ethics. They included, among other things, his ideas on evolution, which he saw as leading to an era of greater interpersonal cooperation. Spencer is seen by some as the originator of Social Darwinism, although his theories were sharply at odds with some of what is commonly understood by that term. Furthermore, Spencer's major works predated those of Charles Darwin. Spencer's book First Principles is an exposition of the evolutionary principles underlying all domains of reality. Spencer, however, did acknowledge Darwin's genius and originality so much that at the scientist's funeral in 1882 at Westminster Abbey, Spencer considered it so important that he attend, he broke his own rule of never stepping foot inside a church.
In his political writings, such as The Man Versus the State, Spencer proposed a radical classical liberal philosophy.
Many may not be aware that it was Spencer, and not Darwin who coined the phrase "survival of the fittest", as well as popularizing the term "evolution." Spencer is also acknowledged as one of the founders of the science of sociology.
- Social Statics (1851)
- System of Synthetic Philosophy (1860)
- Education (1861)
- The Man Versus the State (1884)
- Autobiography (1904)
- Cultural evolution
- List of liberal thinkers
- "Mold of the Earth" (a story by Boleslaw Prus, inspired by a concept of Spencer's).
- Quotes by Herbert Spencer from Wikiquote
- An article by Roderick Long purporting to vindicate Spencer.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details