Major Works
by Spencer

First Principles


 
About this title:
Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) was regarded by the Victorians as the foremost philosopher of the age. The prophet of evolution at a time when the idea had gripped popular imagination, he made important contributions to biology, psychology, sociology and philosophy. This selection provides a cross-section of Spencer's work from his more popular and approachable essays and volumes as well as volumes of the Synthetic Philosophy itself.

 

Education: intellectual, moral, and physical

 


Data of ethics




About this title:
Conduct in general; The evolution of conduct; Good and bad conduct; ways of judging conduct; the physical view; the biological view; the psychological view; the sociological view; criticisms and explanations; the relativity of pains and pleasures; egoism versus altruism; altruism versus egoism; trial and compromise; conciliation; absolute ethics and relative ethics; the scope of ethics.
 


Principles of sociology.



About this title:
Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) was an English philosopher, best known for his scientific writings. Together with Charles Darwin and Thomas Huxley he was responsible for the acceptance of the theory of evolution. His well-known essay on Education: Intellectual, Moral and Physical was considered one of the most useful and profound books written on education. He projected a vast 10-volume work, Synthetic Philosophy, in which all phenomena are interpreted according to the principle of evolutionary progress. Together with Charles Darwin and Thomas Huxley he was responsible for the acceptance of the theory of evolution. Although no longer influential in biology, his extension of his theory of evolution to psychology and sociology remains important. His "Social Darwinism" was particularly influential on early evolutionary economists such as Thorstein Veblen. As subeditor of the Economist (1843-53), Spencer was an influential exponent of laissez-faire. His early book Social Statistics (1851) was strongly tinged with an individualistic outlook.


The study of sociology



About this title:
Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) was regarded by the Victorians as the foremost philosopher of the age. The prophet of evolution at a time when the idea had gripped popular imagination, he made important contributions to biology, psychology, sociology and philosophy. This selection provides a cross-section of Spencer's work from his more popular and approachable essays and volumes as well as volumes of the Synthetic Philosophy itself.
 


The principles of biology




The principles of psychology



About this title:
Emphasizing concepts of adaptation, continuity, and development, Spencer attempted to found psychology on principles of evolutionary biology. In so doing he laid the groundwork for scientific functionalism, developmentalism, and the sensorimotor theory of cortical localization.
 


Facts and Comments



About this title:
Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) was an English philosopher, best known for his scientific writings. Together with Charles Darwin and Thomas Huxley he was responsible for the acceptance of the theory of evolution. His well-known essay on Education, Intellectual, Moral and Physical was considered one of the most useful and profound books written on education. "During the years spent in writing various systematic works, there have from time to time arisen ideas not fitted for incorporation in them. Many of these have found places in articles published in reviews, and are now collected together in the three volumes of my Essays. But there remain a number which have not yet found expression; some of them relatively trivial, some of more interest, and some which I think are important. "I have felt reluctant to let these pass unrecorded, and hence during the last two years, at intervals now long and now short, have set them down in the following pages. Possibly to a second edition I shall make some small additions, but, be this as it may, the volume herewith issued I can say with certainty will be my last. "Herbert Spencer, March 1902

 


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