Portrait of Herbert Spencer

Herbert Spencer

1820 – 1903

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.

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

Read the Liberty Classic Equality and Freedom in Herbert Spencer’s Principles of Ethics from Econlib

Read the Liberty Classic Hijacking Liberalism: Spencer’s The Man Versus the State from Law & Liberty

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)

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Spencer featured as the April 2023 OLL Birthday. Read it here

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