Spencer, Herbert - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

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British philosopher and sociologist, Herbert Spencer (1820–1903) was born in Derby, England, on April 27, and became well known for developing and applying evolutionary theory to sociology, philosophy, and psychology. Following an informal education in the anti-establishment views of his father, he briefly trained as a civil engineer before becoming a journalist and political writer. Spencer began writing books in the early 1850s, and presented a systematic and comprehensive account of his views on ethics, sociology (government, politics, and education), and biology in the nine-volume A System of Synthetic Philosophy (1862–1893). Although his ideas were influential during the last few decades of the nineteenth century, his reputation subsequently waned. Spencer died in Brighton, England, on December 8.

Basic Ideas

Spencer's scientific and empirical method exhibits affinities with Auguste Comte's positivism. Central to his approach was the synthetic practice of deriving fundamental principles from disparate phenomena in many sciences and then...

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This section contains 1,256 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Spencer, Herbert Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Spencer, Herbert from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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