Herbert Spencer

Herbert Spencer


Nationality: English

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 Liberty Matters online discussion on Herbert Spencer’s Sociology of the State

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

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

  • JPG (1200 px, 463 KB)
  • PDF (45 KB) (highest quality)

Quotes from Herbert Spencer:

Titles from Herbert Spencer: