Herbert Spencer


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Herbert Spencer (27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903) was an English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era.

Spencer developed an all-embracing conception of evolution as the progressive development of the physical world, biological organisms, the human mind, and human culture and societies. He was "an enthusiastic ... more »

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  • ''Science is organized knowledge.''
    Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), British philosopher. Education, ch. 2 (1861).
  • ''People are beginning to see that the first requisite to success in life is to be a good animal.''
    Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), British philosopher. Education, ch. 2 (1861).
  • ''The preservation of health is a duty. Few seem conscious that there is such a thing as physical morality.''
    Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), British philosopher. Education, ch. 4 (1861).
  • The more specific idea of evolution now reached is—a change from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity to a definite, coherent heterogeneity, accompanying the dissipation of motion and integratio...
    Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), British philosopher. First Principles, vol. 1, pt. 2, ch. 16, para. 138 (1862).
  • ''A living thing is distinguished from a dead thing by the multiplicity of the changes at any moment taking place in it.''
    Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), British philosopher. Principles of Biology, pt. 1, ch. 4 (1865).
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