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The 25 best sentences of Herbert Spencer

The 25 best sentences of Herbert Spencer

October 5, 2022

Herbert Spencer (England, 1820 - 1903) is one of the most studied psychologists of the nineteenth century. His work also includes writings in the field of philosophy, anthropology and sociology.

Spencer is especially remembered for being the author of the expression "the survival of the fittest" , phrase that pronounced after studying thoroughly the work of Charles Darwin. In addition, he was one of the authors who developed his thinking around Lamarck's theory.

Famous quotes and quotations from Herbert Spencer

In today's article we wanted to collect the best quotes of Herbert Spencer. Through his famous quotes we can approach his thought and know first-hand some of his most valuable reflections.


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1. Education is aimed at the formation of character.

A somewhat innovative vision of the purpose of education.

2. If men use their freedom in such a way that they renounce it, can they be considered as less slaves? If the people choose a despot for a plebiscite to govern it, is it still free due to the fact that despotism has been their own work?

A philosophical reflection that is still a subject of study even today.

3. The function of liberalism in the past was to put a limit to the powers of kings. The function of true liberalism in the future will be to put a limit on the power of parliaments.

A heterodox vision on this political and economic system.


4. To the clear head, of quick imagination and sensitive hearing, it lets pass all the unnecessary rhetorical precepts.

Good philosophers do not get lost in aesthetic martingales.

5. Society exists for the benefit of its members, not members for the benefit of society.

An individualistic vision about the ultimate purpose of living in community.

6. Civilization is the progress from an indefinite and incoherent homogeneity towards a defined and coherent heterogeneity.

Respect for ethnic and cultural minorities would be proof that a civilization has achieved one of its priority objectives.

7. The universal basis of cooperation is to receive benefits reciprocally.

If in a team only one of the members wins, it is that the principle of reciprocity is not being fulfilled.

8. Limit the freedom of each to the freedom of the other, exclude from performing improper actions, but does not exclude others more inappropriate.

A phrase of Herbert Spencer to free interpretation on individual and collective freedom.


9. The anarchist denies the right of any government-be it autocratic or democratic-to meddle in their individual freedom.

One of the anarchist principles, in Spencer's words.

10. Old forms of government grow so oppressive that they must be eliminated, even at the risk of reigning terror.

Another phrase that attests to his predilection for a liberal form of government.

11. The genius survives; everything else dies.

The mentality of the geniuses makes the difference.

12. Time: what men always try to kill, but ends up killing them.

The eternal struggle. Do you need more famous quotes about time?

13. All socialism implies slavery.

His reflection on this political system based on the power of the State.

14. There is a principle that resists all information, that resists any investigation, that never stops keeping man in a perennial ignorance ... It is the principle of dismissing what has not been investigated.

Scientists tend to suffer from this tendency not to value what has not yet been studied in depth.

15. Keep calm in discussions, because passion can turn error into fault, and truth into discourtesy.

A life advice from the more diplomatic Herbert Spencer.

16. Every man is free to do what he wants, as long as he does not infringe the freedom of any other man.

The golden rule of liberalism.

17. Philosophy is the unification of thought.

A famous quote by Herbert Spencer.

  • It may interest you: "75 philosophical phrases with which to cultivate your thought"

18. It is assumed that the citizen agreed to everything that his representative can do when he voted.

One of the problems of representative democracy: the lack of accountability.

19. Morality knows nothing of geographical boundaries or distinctions of race.

The ethical principles are unbreakable and do not know of circumstances or mitigating.

20. The cult of heroism is stronger where there is less freedom of conscience.

When more ignorant is one more people, it tends to elevate specific individuals and grant them high levels of power over their lives and destiny.

21. Architecture, sculpture, painting, music and poetry can be called the efflorescences of civilized life.

Transcending common life, that is the mission of the different artistic disciplines.

22. No one can be perfectly free until everyone is free, no one can be perfectly moral until everyone is moral, no one can be perfectly happy until everyone is happy.

In an ideal society we can all aspire to share ethical ideals.

23. Progress is not an accident, but a necessity.

It is essential for the individuals of each society to feel that their effort is fruitful.

24. The great goal of education is not knowledge, but action.

Knowledge must promote the action and optimization of civilization.

25. Form yourself instead of waiting for you to form and model.

In this sentence, Herbert Spencer exhorts us to seek our own way.


TOP 20 Herbert Spencer Quotes (October 2022).


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