හර්බට් ස්පෙන්සර් (1820 අප්රියෙල් 27 – 1903 දෙසැම්බර් 8) යනු ඉංග්රීසි ජාතික දාර්ශනිකයෙකි.ඔහු ජීව විද්යාඥයෙක් මානව විද්යාඥයෙක් සමාජ විද්යාඥයෙක් මෙන්ම ලිබරල්වාදී චින්තකයෙකුද වෙයි
ස්වභාවික විද්යා මානව ශාස්ත්ර මෙන්ම සමාජීය විද්යා පිළිබද හසල දැනුමක් ඇති විද්වතෙකුවූ ස්පෙන්සර් විවිධ විෂයන් අලලා ප්රකාශයට පත්කල ග්රන්ත රැසක්විය.කුඩාකල එතරම් පොතපතට නැඹුරු නොවුවද තරුණවියේදී දැඩිලෙස පොත්පත් පරිශීලනයට කැමැත්තක් දක්වා ඇත.එසේම ලංඩනයේ ආර්ථික විද්යා ජර්නලයේ සංස්කාරකවරයෙකු ලෙස කටයුතු කරද්දී සමකාලීන දේශපාලන සමාජ ආර්ථික තොරතුරු පිළිබද හසල දැනුමක් හා විවිධ විද්වතුන්ගේ ඇසුර ලැබීමට ස්පෙන්සර්ට හැකිවෙයි.මාධ්යවේදියකු ඔහු ගතකල කාලයේදී තම ලිබරල්වාදී අදහස් සමාජගතකිරීමට ඔහුට හැකිවිය.මෙම අවධියේදී ඔහුගේ කීර්තිරාවය මහා බ්රිතාන්යයට පමණක් නොව ලොව දසදිග පැතිරගියේය.
කොමියුනිස්ට් විරෝධී ලිබරල්වාදී චින්තකයෙකුවූ ස්පෙන්සර් පරිණාමවාදී අදහස් පළකල විද්වතෙකු ලෙස ප්රකටය.ඒ සදහා ඔහුට චාර්ස් ඩාවින්ගේ පාරිණාමවාදී අදහස් ප්රබලව බලපා ඇතිබව විද්වතුන් පවසයි. ඩාවින්ගේ ස්වභාවික වරනවාදය පිළිබද අදහස් ඔහු සමාජ පරිණාමය පිළිබදව අදහස් දැක්වීමට ායාදාගෙන ඇත.
ස්පෙන්සර් 1820 අප්ර්ල් 27 දින එංගලංතයේ ඩර්බි නගරයේදී උපතලැබීය.විලියම් ජෝර්ජ් ස්පෙන්සර් ඔහුගේ පියාවිය.දරුවන් වනදෙනකුගෙන් යුතු පවුලේ ප්රධානියාවූයේ ස්පෙන්සර්ය.ඔවුන් මෙතොදිස්ත ආගමික නිකායට අයත්විය.කුඩාකල සිටම ඉගෙනීමට දක්ෂතා දැක්වූ ස්පෙන්සර් ස්වභාවික විද්යා ගණිතය හා යාන්ත්රික විද්යාවන්ට දැඩි ඇල්මක් දැක්වීය.මීට අමතරව දර්ශනයද ඔහුගේ ප්රියතම විෂයක්විය.
ස්පෙන්සර් තම පියාගෙන් අනුභවික විද්යාවන් පිළිබද දැනුමක් ලැබීය.මීට අමතරව ඩර්බි දාර්ශනිකයන්ගේ සංගමයයෙන් දර්ශනය හා ඩාවින්වාදය පිළිබද දැනුම ලැබීය.ස්පෙන්සර් පවුලේ බොහෝ දෙනෙක් දැඩි පුද්ගලවාදී චින්තනයක් දරාසිටි අතර ස්භාවික විද්යා දර්ශනය යන විදෂයන් පිළිබද උගත්පිරිසක්විය.විශේෂයෙන් ඔවුන් චාර්ස් ඩාවින්ගේ පරිණාමවාදය ඉතා හොදින් හදාරා තිබිණ. ස්පෙන්සර් ගණිතය හෞතික විද්යාවට අමතරව ලතික් භාෂාව පිළිබදවද පාසැල් වියේදී හොදින් හැදෑරීය.ඔහුගේ මාමා කෙනෙකුවූ තෝමස් ස්පෙන්සර් ගෙන් රාජ්ය නිර්බාධවාදය හා ලිබරල්වාදය පිළිබද ඉගෙනගත්හ.මීට අමතරව පොතපත පරිශිලනය උගතුන් හා සංවාද කිරීම මගින් තම දැනුම වර්ධනයකරගත්හ.
පාසැල් අධ්යාපනයෙන් පසු ඔහු ලන්ඩනයේ දුම්රිය දෙපාර්තුමේන්තුවේ සිවිල් ඉංජිනේරුවෙකු ලෙස සේවය කරයි.මෙම අවධියේදීම ඔහු පුවත්පත් වලට තම අදහස්හා මතවාද ඉදිරිපත් කරමින් ලිපි පළකලහ.මෙමෙ ලිපි බොහෝ දෙනා අතර ජනප්රිය විය.පසුව ඔහු ලංඩනයේ අර්ථික විද්යා ජර්නලයේ (The Economist) සංස්කාරකවරයෙකු ලෙස කටයුතු කරයි.මෙම පුවත්පත් කලාවේදියකු ලෙස ගතකල කාලය තුල ඔහුට ප්රවීනමාධ්ය වේදින් හා විද්වතුන් රැසක් අසුරට ලැබේ. 1851 දී ඔහුගේ ප්රථම කෘතියවූ සමාජ ස්ථිතිකත්වය (Social Statics) නම් කෘතිය ප්රකාශයට පත්කරයි. මෙම කෘතිය මගින් රජ්ය මගින් ඉටුකලයුතු කාර්ය පෙන්වා දෙයි.ඹහු තවදුරටත් ධනවාදය ඔගස්ට් කොම්ට්ගේ යථානුභුතවාදය හදාරයි.කෙසේ වෙතත් ස්පෙන්සර් කොම්ට්ගේ ඇතැම් අදහස් විවේචනය කරයි.1855 දී ඔහුගේ දෙවන කෘතියවන මනෝවිද්යාවේ මූල ධර්ම (Principles of Psychology) නම් ග්රන්තය රචනා කළේය.එහෙත් මෙය එතරම් ජනප්රියවූයේ නැත.මෙම අවදියේදී මානසික රෝගයකින් පෙළුණු ස්පෙන්සර් අරමුණක් නොමැතිව නගරවල ඇවිදිමින් ගතකරන ලදී.කෙසේ වෙතත් පසුව ඔහු මෙම මානසික රෝගී තත්වයෙන් සුවය ලැබුවද එහි දෝංකාරය ඔහුගේ මුළු ජීවිත කාලය පුරාම විටින්විට මතුවිය.
ස්පෙන්සර් මනෝ විද්යා හා දර්ශනය යන විෂයන් කෙරෙහි වැඩි කැමැත්තක් දැක්වූබව පැවසේ.ඔහු විසින් රචිත දෙවන කෘතියද මනෝවිද්යාව පිළිබදවය.ඔහු ඹගස්ටි කොම්ට්ගේ දර්ශනය කෙරෙහිද වැඩි අවදානයක් යොමුකළේය.
1870 වනවිට ස්පෙන්සර් ප්රකට දාර්ශනිකයෙකු ලෙස නම්දරා තිබිණ. ඔහු වැඩි කාලයක් කියවීම කෙරෙහිද අවදානය යොමු කළේය.ස්පෙන්සර් විසින් රචිත කෘතීන් රැසක්ම පසුකාලීනව ජර්මන් ඉතාලි ස්පාඥ්ඥ ප්රංශ රුසියානු ජපන් හා චීන භාෂාවට මෙන්ම විවිධ භාෂාවන්ට පරිවර්තනය විය.ස්පෙන්සර් විසින් සිදුකල මෙහෙය වෙනුවෙන් විවිධ රජ්යයන්ගෙන් ඔහුට ගෞරව සම්මාන ලැබිණ.
ස්පෙන්ර් විවිධ දාර්ශනිකයන් ඇසුරේ ජීවත් වෙමින් මහා දැනුම් සම්භාරයක් එක්කර ගත්තේය.ඔහු කිසිවිටෙක තම පෞද්ගලික දියුණුවගැන සිතුවේ නැත.ඔහුටම කියා නිවසක් හෝ නොතිබිණ.ඔහු හුදෙකලාව ප්රියකල අතර කිසිදිනක විවාහවූයේ නැත.ඔහු සැමවිටම හුදෙකලා හා නිහඩ දිවියක්
ඔහුගේ මරණයට ටික කලකට පෙර එනම් ක්රිස්තු වර්ෂ 1902දී ස්පෙන්සර් ගේ නාමය නොබෙල් ත්යාගය සදහාද යෝජනාවිය. පැවති අසනීම තත්වය නිසා වයස අවුරුදු 83 ජීවන ගමන නිමාකරමින් වර්ෂ 1903 දෙසැම්බර් මස 8 වන දින මෙලොවින් සමුගත්තේය.ඔහුගේ දේහය ශේෂ්ඨ විද්යාඥයෙකුවූ කාල් මාක්ස්ගේ දේහය මිනිදන් කරඇති ස්ථානයට නුදුරුව ලංඩනයේ හයිගේට් සුසාන භුමියේදී මිනිදන් කළහ.
ස්පෙන්සර් යනු පරිණාමවාදී හා ලිබරල්වාදී අදහස් දැරෑ චින්තයෙකි.මැවුම්වාදී දෛවවාදී ආගමික මතයන් අනුමත නොකළහ.භෞතිකවාදී හේතුවාදී චින්තනය පොෂණය කළ විද්වතෙක්විය.ඔහුගේ චින්තනය බොහෝවිට කොම්ට්ගේ යථානුභූත දර්ශනය හා ඩාවින්ගේ පරිණාමවාදී චින්තනයන් ගෙන් පෝෂණය විය.උපතින් ක්රිස්තියානි බැතිමතෙකු වුවද ඔහු පසුව දේවවාදී අදහස් වෙනුවට විද්යාත්මක වින්තනය ගරු කරමින් නිදහස් චින්තකයෙකුවිය.ස්පෙන්සර් දක්වන ආකාරයට සමාජයක් උසස් තත්වයකට පත්වන්නේ ආගමික ඉගැන්වීම් නිසා නොව කාර්මීකරණය ඉදිරියට යාම හා මිත්යාව වෙනුවට විද්යාව මත තීරණ ගන්නා සමාජයක් බිහිවීම නිසාය.එසේම ආර්ථිකය සදහා රජයේ මැදිහත්වීම අවම මට්ටමක පැවතිය යුතුබව ඔහු පෙන්වාදෙයි.එනම් රාජ්ය නිර්බාධවාදී අදහස් ඇති දාර්ශනිකයෙකු ලෙස ස්පෙන්සර් පෙන්වාදිය හැක.
Spencer first articulated his evolutionary perspective in his essay, 'Progress: Its Law and Cause', published in Chapman's Westminster Review in 1857, and which later formed the basis of the First Principles of a New System of Philosophy (1862). In it he expounded a theory of evolution which combined insights from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's essay 'The Theory of Life' – itself derivative from Friedrich von Schelling's Naturphilosophie – with a generalisation of von Baer's law of embryological development. Spencer posited that all structures in the universe develop from a simple, undifferentiated, homogeneity to a complex, differentiated, heterogeneity, while being accompanied by a process of greater integration of the differentiated parts. This evolutionary process could be found at work, Spencer believed, throughout the cosmos. It was a universal law, that was applying to the stars and the galaxies as much as to biological organisms, and to human social organisation as much as to the human mind. It differed from other scientific laws only by its greater generality, and the laws of the special sciences could be shown to be illustrations of this principle.
However, as Bertrand Russell stated in a letter to Beatrice Webb in 1923, this formulation has problems: 'I don't know whether [Spencer] was ever made to realise the implications of the second law of thermodynamics; if so, he may well be upset. The law says that everything tends to uniformity and a dead level, diminishing (not increasing) heterogeneity'.
Spencer's attempt to explain the evolution of complexity was radically different from that to be found in Darwin's Origin of Species which was published two years later. Spencer is often, quite erroneously, believed to have merely appropriated and generalised Darwin's work on natural selection. But although after reading Darwin's work he coined the phrase 'survival of the fittest' as his own term for Darwin's concept, and is often misrepresented as a thinker who merely applied the Darwinian theory to society, he only grudgingly incorporated natural selection into his preexisting overall system. The primary mechanism of species transformation that he recognised was Lamarckian use-inheritance which posited that organs are developed or are diminished by use or disuse and that the resulting changes may be transmitted to future generations. Spencer believed that this evolutionary mechanism was also necessary to explain 'higher' evolution, especially the social development of humanity. Moreover, in contrast to Darwin, he held that evolution had a direction and an end-point, the attainment of a final state of equilibrium. He tried to apply the theory of biological evolution to sociology. He proposed that society was the product of change from lower to higher forms, just as in the theory of biological evolution, the lowest forms of life are said to be evolving into higher forms. Spencer claimed that man's mind had evolved in the same way from the simple automatic responses of lower animals to the process of reasoning in the thinking man. Spencer believed in two kinds of knowledge: knowledge gained by the individual and knowledge gained by the race. Intuition, or knowledge learned unconsciously, was the inherited experience of the race.
Spencer in his book Principles of Biology (1864), proposed a pangenesis theory that involved "physiological units". These hypothetical hereditary units were similar to Darwin's gemmules.
Spencer read with excitement the original positivist sociology of Auguste Comte. A philosopher of science, Comte had proposed a theory of sociocultural evolution that society progresses by a general law of three stages. Writing after various developments in biology, however, Spencer rejected what he regarded as the ideological aspects of Comte's positivism, attempting to reformulate social science in terms of his principle of evolution, which he applied to the biological, psychological and sociological aspects of the universe. Given the primacy with which Spencer placed on evolution in his work, Spencer's sociology might be described as socially Darwinistic (though strictly speaking he was a proponent of Lamarckism rather than Darwinism). Despite the popularity of this view, such a description of Spencer's sociology is mistaken. While Spencer's political and ethical writings had themes consistent with social Darwinism, such themes are not present in Spencer's sociological works, which focus on building a theory regarding how processes of societal growth and differentiation lead to changing amounts of complexity amongst the various forms of social organization 
The evolutionary progression from simple, undifferentiated homogeneity to complex, differentiated heterogeneity was exemplified, Spencer argued, by the development of society. He developed a theory of two types of society, the militant and the industrial, which corresponded to this evolutionary progression. Militant society, structured around relationships of hierarchy and obedience, was simple and undifferentiated; industrial society, based on voluntary, contractually assumed social obligations, was complex and differentiated. Society, which Spencer conceptualised as a 'social organism' evolved from the simpler state to the more complex according to the universal law of evolution. Moreover, industrial society was the direct descendant of the ideal society developed in Social Statics, although Spencer now equivocated over whether the evolution of society would result in anarchism (as he had first believed) or whether it pointed to a continued role for the state, albeit one reduced to the minimal functions of the enforcement of contracts and external defence.
Though Spencer made some valuable contributions to early sociology, not least in his influence on structural functionalism, his attempt to introduce Lamarckian or Darwinian ideas into the realm of sociology was unsuccessful. It was considered by many, furthermore, to be actively dangerous. Hermeneuticians of the period, such as Wilhelm Dilthey, would pioneer the distinction between the natural sciences (Naturwissenschaften) and human sciences (Geisteswissenschaften). In the United States, the sociologist Lester Frank Ward, who would be elected as the first president of the American Sociological Association, launched a relentless attack on Spencer's theories of laissez-faire and political ethics. Although Ward admired much of Spencer's work he believed that Spencer's prior political biases had distorted his thought and had led him astray. In the 1890s, Émile Durkheim established formal academic sociology with a firm emphasis on practical social research. By the turn of the 20th century the first generation of German sociologists, most notably Max Weber, had presented methodological antipositivism. However, it should be noted that Spencer's theories of laissez-faire, survival-of-the-fittest and minimal human interference in the processes of natural law had an enduring and even increasing appeal in the social science fields of economics and political science, and one writer has recently made the case for Spencer's importance for a sociology that must learn to take energy in society seriously.
Spencer's reputation among the Victorians owed a great deal to his agnosticism. He rejected theology as representing the 'impiety of the pious.' He was to gain much notoriety from his repudiation of traditional religion, and was frequently condemned by religious thinkers for allegedly advocating atheism and materialism. Nonetheless, unlike Thomas Henry Huxley, whose agnosticism was a militant creed directed at 'the unpardonable sin of faith' (in Adrian Desmond's phrase), Spencer insisted that he was not concerned to undermine religion in the name of science, but to bring about a reconciliation of the two. The following argument is a summary of Part 1 of his First Principles (2nd ed 1867).
Starting either from religious belief or from science, Spencer argued, we are ultimately driven to accept certain indispensable but literally inconceivable notions. Whether we are concerned with a Creator or the substratum which underlies our experience of phenomena, we can frame no conception of it. Therefore, Spencer concluded, religion and science agree in the supreme truth that the human understanding is only capable of 'relative' knowledge. This is the case since, owing to the inherent limitations of the human mind, it is only possible to obtain knowledge of phenomena, not of the reality ('the absolute') underlying phenomena. Hence both science and religion must come to recognise as the 'most certain of all facts that the Power which the Universe manifests to us is utterly inscrutable.' He called this awareness of 'the Unknowable' and he presented worship of the Unknowable as capable of being a positive faith which could substitute for conventional religion. Indeed, he thought that the Unknowable represented the ultimate stage in the evolution of religion, the final elimination of its last anthropomorphic vestiges.
Spencerian views in 21st century circulation derive from his political theories and memorable attacks on the reform movements of the late 19th century. He has been claimed as a precursor by libertarians and anarcho-capitalists. Economist Murray Rothbard called Social Statics "the greatest single work of libertarian political philosophy ever written." Spencer argued that the state was not an "essential" institution and that it would "decay" as voluntary market organisation would replace the coercive aspects of the state. He also argued that the individual had a "right to ignore the state." As a result of this perspective, Spencer was harshly critical of patriotism. In response to being told that British troops were in danger during the Second Afghan War, he replied: "When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don't care if they are shot themselves."
Politics in late Victorian Britain moved in directions that Spencer disliked, and his arguments provided so much ammunition for conservatives and individualists in Europe and America that they are still in use in the 21st century. The expression 'There Is No Alternative' (TINA), made famous by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, may be traced to its emphatic use by Spencer.
By the 1880s he was denouncing "the new Toryism" (that is, the "social reformist wing" of the Liberal party – the wing to some extent hostile to Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, this faction of the Liberal party Spencer compared to the interventionist "Toryism" of such people as the former Conservative party Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli). In The Man versus the State (1884), he attacked Gladstone and the Liberal party for losing its proper mission (they should be defending personal liberty, he said) and instead promoting paternalist social legislation (what Gladstone himself called "Construction" – an element in the modern Liberal party that he opposed). Spencer denounced Irish land reform, compulsory education, laws to regulate safety at work, prohibition and temperance laws, tax funded libraries, and welfare reforms. His main objections were threefold: the use of the coercive powers of the government, the discouragement given to voluntary self-improvement, and the disregard of the "laws of life." The reforms, he said, were tantamount to "socialism", which he said was about the same as "slavery" in terms of limiting human freedom. Spencer vehemently attacked the widespread enthusiasm for annexation of colonies and imperial expansion, which subverted all he had predicted about evolutionary progress from 'militant' to 'industrial' societies and states.
Spencer anticipated many of the analytical standpoints of later libertarian theorists such as Friedrich Hayek, especially in his "law of equal liberty", his insistence on the limits to predictive knowledge, his model of a spontaneous social order, and his warnings about the "unintended consequences" of collectivist social reforms.
While often caricatured as ultra-conservative, Spencer had been more radical earlier in his career – opposing private property in land and claiming that each person has a latent claim to participate in the use of the earth (views that influenced Georgism), calling himself "a radical feminist" and advocating the organisation of trade unions as a bulwark against "exploitation by bosses", and favoured an economy organised primarily in free worker co-operatives as a replacement for wage-labor. Although he retained support for unions, his views on the other issues had changed by the 1880s. He came to predict that social welfare programmes would eventually lead to socialisation of the means of production, saying "all socialism is slavery"; Spencer defined a slave as a person who "labours under coercion to satisfy another's desires" and believed that under socialism or communism the individual would be enslaved to the whole community rather than to a particular master, and "it means not whether his master a single person or society"
For many, the name of Herbert Spencer would be virtually synonymous with Social Darwinism, a social theory that applies the law of the survival of the fittest to society; humanitarian impulses had to be resisted as nothing should be allowed to interfere with nature's laws, including the social struggle for existence.
Spencer's association with Social Darwinism might have its origin in a specific interpretation of his support for competition. Whereas in biology the competition of various organisms can result in the death of a species or organism, the kind of competition Spencer advocated is closer to the one used by economists, where competing individuals or firms improve the well being of the rest of society. Spencer viewed private charity positively, encouraging both voluntary association and informal care to aid those in need, rather than relying on government bureaucracy or force. He further recommended that private charitable efforts would be wise to avoid encouraging the formation of new dependent families by those unable to support themselves without charity.
Focusing on the form as well as the content of Spencer's "Synthetic Philosophy", one writer has identified it as the paradigmatic case of "Social Darwinism", understood as a politically motivated metaphysic very different in both form and motivation from Darwinist science.
In a letter to the Japanese government regarding intermarriage with Westerners, Spencer stated that "if you mix the constitution of two widely divergent varieties which have severally become adapted to widely divergent modes of life, you get a constitution which is adapted to the mode of life of neither—a constitution which will not work properly". He goes on to say that America has failed to limit the immigration of Chinese and restrict their contact, especially sexual, with the presumed European stock. He states "if they mix they must form a bad hybrid" regarding the issue of Chinese and (ethnically European) Americans. Spencer ends his letter with the following blanket statement against all immigration: "In either case, supposing the immigration to be large, immense social mischief must arise, and eventually social disorganization. The same thing will happen if there should be any considerable mixture of European or American races with the Japanese."
While most philosophers fail to achieve much of a following outside the academy of their professional peers, by the 1870s and 1880s Spencer had achieved an unparalleled popularity, as the sheer volume of his sales indicate. He was probably the first, and possibly the only, philosopher in history to sell over a million copies of his works during his own lifetime. In the United States, where pirated editions were still commonplace, his authorised publisher, Appleton, sold 368,755 copies between 1860 and 1903. This figure did not differ much from his sales in his native Britain, and once editions in the rest of the world are added in the figure of a million copies seems like a conservative estimate. As William James remarked, Spencer "enlarged the imagination, and set free the speculative mind of countless doctors, engineers, and lawyers, of many physicists and chemists, and of thoughtful laymen generally." The aspect of his thought that emphasised individual self-improvement found a ready audience in the skilled working class.
Spencer's influence among leaders of thought was also immense, though it was most often expressed in terms of their reaction to, and repudiation of, his ideas. As his American follower John Fiske observed, Spencer's ideas were to be found "running like the weft through all the warp" of Victorian thought. Such varied thinkers as Henry Sidgwick, T.H. Green, G.E. Moore, William James, Henri Bergson, and Émile Durkheim defined their ideas in relation to his. Durkheim's Division of Labour in Society is to a very large extent an extended debate with Spencer, from whose sociology, many commentators now agree, Durkheim borrowed extensively.
In post-1863-Uprising Poland, many of Spencer's ideas became integral to the dominant fin-de-siècle ideology, "Polish Positivism". The leading Polish writer of the period, Bolesław Prus, hailed Spencer as "the Aristotle of the nineteenth century" and adopted Spencer's metaphor of society-as-organism, giving it a striking poetic presentation in his 1884 micro-story, "Mold of the Earth", and highlighting the concept in the introduction to his most universal novel, Pharaoh (1895).
The early 20th century was hostile to Spencer. Soon after his death, his philosophical reputation went into a sharp decline. Half a century after his death, his work was dismissed as a "parody of philosophy", and the historian Richard Hofstadter called him "the metaphysician of the homemade intellectual, and the prophet of the cracker-barrel agnostic." Nonetheless, Spencer's thought had penetrated so deeply into the Victorian age that his influence did not disappear entirely.
Despite his reputation as a Social Darwinist, Spencer's political thought has been open to multiple interpretations. His political philosophy could both provide inspiration to those who believed that individuals were masters of their fate, who should brook no interference from a meddling state, and those who believed that social development required a strong central authority. In Lochner v. New York, conservative justices of the United States Supreme Court could find inspiration in Spencer's writings for striking down a New York law limiting the number of hours a baker could work during the week, on the ground that this law restricted liberty of contract. Arguing against the majority's holding that a "right to free contract" is implicit in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote: "The Fourteenth Amendment does not enact Mr. Herbert Spencer's Social Statics." Spencer has also been described as a quasi-anarchist, as well as an outright anarchist. Marxist theorist Georgi Plekhanov, in his 1909 book Anarchism and Socialism, labelled Spencer a "conservative Anarchist."
Spencer's ideas became very influential in China and Japan largely because he appealed to the reformers' desire to establish a strong nation-state with which to compete with the Western powers. His thought was introduced by the Chinese scholar Yen Fu, who saw his writings as a prescription for the reform of the Qing state. Spencer also influenced the Japanese Westernizer Tokutomi Soho, who believed that Japan was on the verge of transitioning from a "militant society" to an "industrial society," and needed to quickly jettison all things Japanese and take up Western ethics and learning. He also corresponded with Kaneko Kentaro, warning him of the dangers of imperialism. Savarkar writes in his Inside the Enemy Camp, about reading all of Spencer's works, of his great interest in them, of their translation into Marathi, and their influence on the likes of Tilak and Agarkar, and the affectionate sobriquet given to him in Maharashtra – Harbhat Pendse.
Spencer greatly influenced literature and rhetoric. His 1852 essay, "The Philosophy of Style", explored a growing trend of formalist approaches to writing. Highly focused on the proper placement and ordering of the parts of an English sentence, he created a guide for effective composition. Spencer aimed to free prose writing from as much "friction and inertia" as possible, so that the reader would not be slowed by strenuous deliberations concerning the proper context and meaning of a sentence. Spencer argued that writers should aim "To so present ideas that they may be apprehended with the least possible mental effort" by the reader.
He argued that by making the meaning as readily accessible as possible, the writer would achieve the greatest possible communicative efficiency. This was accomplished, according to Spencer, by placing all the subordinate clauses, objects and phrases before the subject of a sentence so that, when readers reached the subject, they had all the information they needed to completely perceive its significance. While the overall influence that "The Philosophy of Style" had on the field of rhetoric was not as far-reaching as his contribution to other fields, Spencer's voice lent authoritative support to formalist views of rhetoric.
Spencer influenced literature inasmuch as many novelists and short story authors came to address his ideas in their work. George Eliot, Leo Tolstoy, Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw, Bolesław Prus, Abraham Cahan, D. H. Lawrence, Machado de Assis, Richard Austin Freeman, and Jorge Luis Borges all referenced Spencer. Arnold Bennett greatly praised First Principles, and the influence it had on Bennett may be seen in his many novels. Jack London went so far as to create a character, Martin Eden, a staunch Spencerian. It has also been suggestedසැකිල්ල:By whom that the character of Vershinin in Anton Chekhov's play The Three Sisters is a dedicated Spencerian. H.G. Wells used Spencer's ideas as a theme in his novella, The Time Machine, employing them to explain the evolution of man into two species. It is perhaps the best testimony to the influence of Spencer's beliefs and writings that his reach was so diverse. He influenced not only the administrators who shaped their societies' inner workings, but also the artists who helped shape those societies' ideals and beliefs. In Rudyard Kipling's novel Kim, the Anglophile Bengali spy Hurree Babu admires of Herbert Spencer and quotes him to comic effect: "They are, of course, dematerialised phenomena. Spencer says." "I am good enough Herbert Spencerian, I trust, to meet little thing like death, which is all in my fate, you know." "He thanked all the Gods of Hindustan, and Herbert Spencer, that there remained some valuables to steal."
- Papers of Herbert Spencer in Senate House Library, University of London
- Most of Spencer's books are available online
- "On The Proper Sphere of Government" (1842)
- Social Statics: or, The Conditions Essential to Human Happiness Specified, and the First of Them Developed (1851)
- "A Theory of Population" (1852)
- Principles of Psychology (1855), first edition, issued in one volume
- Education (1861)
- System of Synthetic Philosophy',' in ten volumes
- First Principles ISBN 0-89875-795-9 (1862)
- Principles of Biology (1864, 1867; revised and enlarged: 1898), in two volumes
- Volume I – Part I: The Data of Biology; Part II: The Inductions of Biology; Part III: The Evolution of Life; Appendices
- Volume II – Part IV: Morphological Development; Part V: Physiological Development; Part VI: Laws of Multiplication; Appendices
- Principles of Psychology (1870, 1880), in two volumes
- Volume I – Part I: The Data of Psychology; Part II: The Inductions of Psychology; Part III: General Synthesis; Part IV: Special Synthesis; Part V: Physical Synthesis; Appendix
- Volume II – Part VI: Special Analysis; Part VII: General Analysis; Part VIII: Congruities; Part IX: Corollaries
- Principles of Sociology, in three volumes
- Volume I (1874–75; enlarged 1876, 1885) – Part I: Data of Sociology; Part II: Inductions of Sociology; Part III: Domestic Institutions
- Volume II – Part IV: Ceremonial Institutions (1879); Part V: Political Institutions (1882); Part VI [published here in some editions]: Ecclesiastical Institutions (1885)
- Volume III – Part VI [published here in some editions]: Ecclesiastical Institutions (1885); Part VII: Professional Institutions (1896); Part VIII: Industrial Institutions (1896); References
- The Principles of Ethics (1897), in two volumes
- Volume I – Part I: The Data of Ethics (1879); Part II: The Inductions of Ethics (1892); Part III: The Ethics of Individual Life (1892); References
- Volume II – Part IV: The Ethics of Social Life: Justice (1891); Part V: The Ethics of Social Life: Negative Beneficence (1892); Part VI: The Ethics of Social Life: Positive Beneficence (1892); Appendices
- The Study of Sociology (1873, 1896)
- An Autobiography (1904), in two volumes
- See also Spencer, Herbert (1904). An Autobiography. D. Appleton and Company. https://books.google.com/books?id=gUozqCwTGkEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=herbert+spencer#PPR3,M2.
- v1 Life and Letters of Herbert Spencer by David Duncan (1908)
- v2 Life and Letters of Herbert Spencer by David Duncan (1908)
- Descriptive Sociology; or Groups of Sociological Facts, parts 1–8, classified and arranged by Spencer, compiled and abstracted by David Duncan, Richard Schepping, and James Collier (London, Williams & Norgate, 1873–1881).
- Illustrations of Universal Progress: A Series of Discussions (1864, 1883)
- The Man versus the State (1884)
- The man versus the state
- Essays: Scientific, Political, and Speculative (1891), in three volumes:
- Volume I (includes "The Development Hypothesis," "Progress: Its Law and Cause," "The Factors of Organic Evolution" and others)
- Volume II (includes "The Classification of the Sciences", The Philosophy of Style (1852), The Origin and Function of Music," "The Physiology of Laughter," and others)
- Volume III (includes "The Ethics of Kant", "State Tamperings With Money and Banks", "Specialized Administration", "From Freedom to Bondage", "The Americans", and others)
- Various Fragments (1897, enlarged 1900)
- Facts and Comments (1902)
- Great Political Thinkers (1960)
- Herbert Spencer: An Estimate and Review (1904) by Josiah Royce.
- Lectures on the Ethics of T.H. Green, Mr. Herbert Spencer, and J. Martineau (1902) by Henry Sidgwick.
- Spencer-smashing at Washington (1894) by Lester F. Ward.
- A Perplexed Philosopher (1892) by Henry George.
- A Few Words with Mr Herbert Spencer (1884) by Paul Lafargue.
- Remarks on Spencer's Definition of Mind as Correspondence (1878) by William James.
- Contributions to liberal theory
- Social Darwinism
- Empty citation (help)
- Riggenbach, Jeff (24 April 2011) The Real William Graham Sumner, Mises Institute
- Duncan, Life and Letters of Herbert Spencer pp. 53–55
- Duncan, Life and Letters of Herbert Spencer p. 113
- Duncan, Life and Letters of Herbert Spencer p. 497
- quoted in Egan, Kieran (2002). Getting it wrong from the beginning. http://www.sfu.ca/~egan/Wrong-article.html. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- Deichmann, Ute. (2010).
- Turner, Jonathan H. (1985). Herbert Spencer. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE Publications. ISBN 0-8039-2244-2.
- Popular Science Monthly, Volume 44
- McKinnon, AM. (2010).
- Doherty, Brian, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, p. 246.
- Stringham, Edward.
- Stringham, Edward.
- Herbert Spencer, Facts and comments, p. 126.
- Social Statics (1851), pp. 42, 307.
- The Man vs the State, 1884 at the Constitution Society
- Ronald F. Cooney, "Herbert Spencer: Apostle of Liberty" Freeman (January 1973)online
- Chris Matthew Sciabarra, "Libertarianism", in International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology, ed.
- Offer, John (2006). An Intellectual History of British Social Policy. Bristol: Policy Press. පිටු 38, 142. ISBN 1-86134-530-5.
- Stewart, Iain (2011). "Commandeering Time: The Ideological Status of Time in the Social Darwinism of Herbert Spencer". Australian Journal of Politics and History. 57 (3): 389–402. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8497.2011.01604.x. More than one of
- Hearn, Lafcadio (2012). Japan: an Attempt at Interpretation Kindle Edition. පිටු Appendix. ISBN 1406722383.
- James, William.
- Quoted in John Offer, Herbert Spencer: Critical Assessments (London: Routledge, 2004), p. 612.
- Perrin, Robert G. (1995). "Émile Durkheim's Division of Labor and the Shadow of Herbert Spencer". Sociological Quarterly. 36 (4): 791–808. doi:10.1111/j.1533-8525.1995.tb00465.x. More than one of
- Gertrude Himmelfarb, Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution, 1968, p. 222; quoted in Robert J. Richards, Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), p. 243.
- Richard Hofstadter, Social Darwinism in American Thought (1944; Boston: Beacon Press, 1992), p. 32.
- Mark Francis, Herbert Spencer and the Invention of Modern Life (Newcastle, UK: Acumen Publishing, 2007).
- Stewart (2011).
- Plekhanov, Georgiĭ Valentinovich (1912), trans.
- Benjamin Schwartz, In Search of Wealth and Power (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1964).
- Kenneth Pyle, The New Generation in Meiji Japan (Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, 1969).
- Spencer to Kaneko Kentaro, 26 August 1892 in The Life and Letters of Herbert Spencer ed.
- Savarkar, Vinayak Damodar. Inside the Enemy Camp. පි. 35. http://www.savarkar.org/en/armed-struggle/inside-enemy-camp.
- සැකිල්ල:Cite SEP
- Herbert Spencer entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy by William Sweet
- Review materials for studying Herbert Spencer
- සැකිල්ල:FAGFind a Grave
- Spencer ගේ කෘති (ගුටෙන්බර්ග් ව්යාපෘතිය)Project GutenbergSpencer ගේ කෘති (ගුටෙන්බර්ග් ව්යාපෘතිය)
- Works by or about හර්බට් ස්පෙන්සර් at Internet ArchiveInternet ArchiveWorks by or about හර්බට් ස්පෙන්සර් at Internet Archive
- Works by හර්බට් ස්පෙන්සර් at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks) LibriVoxWorks by හර්බට් ස්පෙන්සර් at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Works by Herbert Spencer at the Online Library of Liberty (HTML, facsimile PDF, reading PDF)
- On Moral Education, reprinted in Left and Right: A Journal of Libertarian Thought (Spring 1966)
- First principles Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library.
- First Principles online
- "The Right to Ignore the State" by Herbert Spencer.