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A collection of scholarly works about individual liberty and free markets. A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.

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Herbert Spencer

389px herbert spencer

1820 - 1903


Historical Period:
The 19th Century


Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) was one of the leading 19th century English radical individualists. He began working as a journalist for the laissez-faire magazine The Economist in the 1850s. Much of the rest of his life was spent working on an all-encompassing theory of human development based upon the ideas of individualism, utilitarian moral theory, social and biological evolution, limited government, and laissez-faire economics. [The image comes from “The Warren J. Samuels Portrait Collection at Duke University.”]

See the Timeline of the Life and Work of Herbert Spencer:

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Key: events in the author’s life (blue); historical events (green); books & organisations (red)



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