Title page from The Principles of Sociology, 3 vols. (1898)

The Principles of Sociology, 3 vols. (1898)

This is a 3 vol. set of the third revised edition of Herbert Spencer’s magnum opus on sociology which was first published in 1876.

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In vol. 1 he defines his theory of sociology, how human beings associate with each other in communities, how institution evolve over time, and begins his analysis of institutions with a section on the family, marriage, women and children. In vol. 2 he covers “ceremonial” institutions and political institutions (with his famous distinction between militant and industrial types of society). In vol. 3 he discusses ecclesiastical institutions, professional institutions, and “industrial” (or economic) institutions.