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- Created 2012-02-18
(27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903) was an
, and prominent
Spencer developed an all-embracing conception of
as the progressive development of the physical world, biological organisms, the human mind, and human culture and societies. He was "an enthusiastic exponent of evolution" and even "wrote about evolution before
did. " As a
, he contributed to a wide range of subjects, including
, religion, anthropology, economics, political theory, philosophy, biology, sociology, and psychology. During his lifetime he achieved tremendous authority, mainly in English-speaking academia. "The only other English philosopher to have achieved anything like such widespread popularity was
, and that was in the 20th century. " Spencer was "the single most famous European intellectual in the closing decades of the nineteenth century" but his influence declined sharply after 1900; "Who now reads Spencer?" asked
Spencer is best known for coining the expression "
survival of the fittest
", which he did in
Principles of Biology
(1864), after reading
On the Origin of Species
. This term strongly suggests
, yet as Spencer extended evolution into realms of sociology and ethics, he also made use of
from Wikipedia (last updated: 24 May), licensed under
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Review materials for studying Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer: Libertarian Prophet
Herbert Spencer: Social Darwinist or Libertarian Prophet?
Works by Herbert Spencer
''On Moral Education''
''First Principles'' online
"The Right to Ignore the State"
"Herbert Spencer: The Defamation Continues"
Contributions to liberal theory
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