See Article History Herbert Spencer, born April 27,DerbyDerbyshire, England—died December 8,BrightonSussexEnglish sociologist and philosopher, an early advocate of the theory of evolutionwho achieved an influential synthesis of knowledge, advocating the preeminence of the individual over society and of science over religion. His magnum opus was The Synthetic Philosophya comprehensive work containing volumes on the principles of biologypsychologymoralityand sociology. He is best remembered for his doctrine of social Darwinismaccording to which the principles of evolution, including natural selectionapply to human societies, social classes, and individuals as well as to biological species developing over geologic time. Spencer declined an offer from his uncle, the Reverend Thomas Spencer, to send him to Cambridgeand in consequence his higher education was largely the result of his own reading, which was chiefly in the natural sciences.
Spencer's father was a religious dissenter who drifted from Methodism to Herbert spencer essays on educationand who seems to have transmitted to his son an opposition to all forms of authority.
He ran a school founded on the progressive teaching methods of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and also served as Secretary of the Derby Philosophical Societya scientific society which had been founded in by Erasmus Darwinthe grandfather of Charles Darwin.
Spencer was educated in empirical science by his father, while the members of the Derby Philosophical Society introduced him to pre-Darwinian concepts of biological evolution, particularly those of Erasmus Darwin and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.
His uncle, the Reverend Thomas Spencer,  vicar of Hinton Charterhouse near Bathcompleted Spencer's limited formal education by teaching him some mathematics and physics, and enough Latin to enable him to translate some easy texts.
Thomas Spencer also imprinted on his nephew his own firm free-trade and anti-statist political views. Otherwise, Spencer was an autodidact who acquired most of his knowledge from narrowly focused readings and conversations with his friends and acquaintances.
He worked as a civil engineer during the railway boom of the late s, while also devoting much of his time to writing for provincial journals that were nonconformist in their religion and Herbert spencer essays on education in their politics.
From to he served as sub-editor on the free-trade journal The Economistduring which time he published his first book, Social Staticswhich predicted that humanity would eventually become completely adapted to the requirements of living in society with the consequential withering away of the state.
Its publisher, John Chapmanintroduced Spencer to his salon which was attended by many of the leading radical and progressive thinkers of the capital, including John Stuart MillHarriet MartineauGeorge Henry Lewes and Mary Ann Evans George Eliotwith whom he was briefly romantically linked.
Spencer himself introduced the biologist Thomas Henry Huxleywho would later win fame as 'Darwin's Bulldog' and who remained his lifelong friend.
However it was the friendship of Evans and Lewes that acquainted him with John Stuart Mill's A System of Logic and with Auguste Comte 's positivism and which set him on the road to his life's work.
He strongly disagreed with Comte. The book was founded on the fundamental assumption that the human mind was subject to natural laws and that these could be discovered within the framework of general biology.
This permitted the adoption of a developmental perspective not merely in terms of the individual as in traditional psychologybut also of the species and the race.
Through this paradigm, Spencer aimed to reconcile the associationist psychology of Mill's Logic, the notion that human mind was constructed from atomic sensations held together by the laws of the association of ideas, with the apparently more 'scientific' theory of phrenologywhich located specific mental functions in specific parts of the brain.
The Psychology, he believed, would do for the human mind what Isaac Newton had done for matter. Spencer's interest in psychology derived from a more fundamental concern which was to establish the universality of natural law.
This was in contrast to the views of many theologians of the time who insisted that some parts of creation, in particular the human soul, were beyond the realm of scientific investigation. However, Spencer differed from Comte in believing it was possible to discover a single law of universal application which he identified with progressive development and was to call the principle of evolution.
In Spencer produced an outline of what was to become the System of Synthetic Philosophy. This immense undertaking, which has few parallels in the English language, aimed to demonstrate that the principle of evolution applied in biology, psychology, sociology Spencer appropriated Comte's term for the new discipline and morality.
Spencer envisaged that this work of ten volumes would take twenty years to complete; in the end it took him twice as long and consumed almost all the rest of his long life. Despite Spencer's early struggles to establish himself as a writer, by the s he had become the most famous philosopher of the age.
His works were translated into German, Italian, Spanish, French, Russian, Japanese and Chinese, and into many other languages and he was offered honours and awards all over Europe and North America. He also became a member of the Athenaeuman exclusive Gentleman's Club in London open only to those distinguished in the arts and sciences, and the X Cluba dining club of nine founded by T.
Huxley that met every month and included some of the most prominent thinkers of the Victorian age three of whom would become presidents of the Royal Society.
There were also some quite significant satellites such as liberal clergyman Arthur Stanleythe Dean of Westminster; and guests such as Charles Darwin and Hermann von Helmholtz were entertained from time to time. Through such associations, Spencer had a strong presence in the heart of the scientific community and was able to secure an influential audience for his views.
Despite his growing wealth and fame he never owned a house of his own. The last decades of Spencer's life were characterised by growing disillusionment and loneliness. He never married, and after was a perpetual hypochondriac who complained endlessly of pains and maladies that no physician could diagnose.
His later years were also ones in which his political views became increasingly conservative. Whereas Social Statics had been the work of a radical democrat who believed in votes for women and even for children and in the nationalisation of the land to break the power of the aristocracy, by the s he had become a staunch opponent of female suffrage and made common cause with the landowners of the Liberty and Property Defence League against what they saw as the drift towards 'socialism' of elements such as Sir William Harcourt within the administration of William Ewart Gladstone — largely against the opinions of Gladstone himself.
Spencer's political views from this period were expressed in what has become his most famous work, The Man Versus the State. Tomb of Herbert Spencer in Highgate Cemetery The exception to Spencer's growing conservativism was that he remained throughout his life an ardent opponent of imperialism and militarism.
His critique of the Boer War was especially scathing, and it contributed to his declining popularity in Britain.
Spencer shows drawings of the pin in Appendix I following Appendix H of his autobiography along with published descriptions of its uses. Inshortly before his death, Spencer was nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature.
He continued writing all his life, in later years often by dictation, until he succumbed to poor health at the age of Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. October Learn how and when to remove this template message The basis for Spencer's appeal to many of his generation was that he appeared to offer a ready-made system of belief which could substitute for conventional religious faith at a time when orthodox creeds were crumbling under the advances of modern science.
Spencer's philosophical system seemed to demonstrate that it was possible to believe in the ultimate perfection of humanity on the basis of advanced scientific conceptions such as the first law of thermodynamics and biological evolution.
In essence Spencer's philosophical vision was formed by a combination of deism and positivism.Free herbert spencer papers, essays, and research papers. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg.
Essays on Education and Kindred Subjects by Herbert Spencer - Free Ebook Project Gutenberg. Social Darwinism: Herbert Spencer and The Catholic Church Essay - Herbert Spencer was the most important Social Darwinist of the 19th Century.
He was the first to begin thinking about evolutionist long before Darwin came out with his book on the "Origins of Species". Herbert Spencer was born in Derby on April 27, His childhood, described in An Autobiography (), reflected the attitudes of a family which was known on both sides to include religious nonconformists, social critics, and rebels.
The article discusses English philosopher Herbert Spencer's essays on education.
Spencer had phrased his conception of the aim of education as preparation for complete living. Spencer's essay on moral education opens with the subject that is hinted at in the first essay as of fundamental importance. Herbert Spencer: Herbert Spencer, English sociologist and philosopher, an early advocate of the theory of evolution, who achieved an influential synthesis of knowledge, advocating the preeminence of the individual over society and of science over religion.
His magnum opus .