Full Online Books
BOOK CATEGORIES
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
LINKS
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
donate
Full Online Book HomeAuthor Herbert SpencerPage 1
Famous Authors (View All Authors)

The Development Hypothesis The Development Hypothesis

The Development Hypothesis
(Originally published in The Leader, for March 20, 1852. Brief though it is, I place this essay before the rest, partly because with the exception of a similarly-brief essay on "Use and Beauty", it came first in order of time, but chiefly because it came first in order of thought, and struck the keynote of all that was to follow.) In a debate upon the development hypothesis, lately narrated to me by a friend, one of the disputants was described as arguing that as, in all our experience, we know no such phenomenon as transmutation of species, it is unphilosophical to... Essays - Post by : warrior28 - Date : August 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 1759

Transcendental Physiology Transcendental Physiology

Transcendental Physiology
(First published in The National Review for October, 1857, under the title of "The Ultimate Laws of Physiology". The title "Transcendental Physiology", which the editor did not approve, was restored when the essay was re-published with others in 1857.) The title Transcendental Anatomy is used to distinguish that division of biological science which treats, not of the structures of individual organisms considered separately, but of the general principles of structure common to vast and varied groups of organisms,--the unity of plan discernible throughout multitudinous species, genera, and orders, which differ widely in appearance. And here, under the head of Transcendental Physiology,... Essays - Post by : Mallam - Date : August 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 958

The Constitution Of The Sun The Constitution Of The Sun

The Constitution Of The Sun
(First published in The Reader for February 25, 1865. I reproduce this essay chiefly to give a place to the speculation concerning the solar spots which forms the latter portion of it.) The hypothesis of M. Faye, described in your numbers for January 28 and February 4, respectively, is to a considerable extent coincident with one which I ventured to suggest in an article on "Recent Astronomy and the Nebular Hypothesis," published in the _Westminster Review_ for July, 1858. In considering the possible causes of the immense differences of specific gravity among the planets, I was led to question the validity... Essays - Post by : goldensniper - Date : August 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 3697

The Nebular Hypothesis The Nebular Hypothesis

The Nebular Hypothesis
(First published in The Westminster Review for July, 1858. In explanation of sundry passages, it seems needful to state that this essay was written in defence of the Nebular Hypothesis at a time when it had fallen into disrepute. Hence there are some opinions spoken of as current which are no longer current.) Inquiring into the pedigree of an idea is not a bad means of roughly estimating its value. To have come of respectable ancestry, is _prima facie_ evidence of worth in a belief as in a person; while to be descended from a discreditable stock is, in the one... Essays - Post by : afastgift - Date : August 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 3740

Illogical Geology Illogical Geology

Illogical Geology
(First published in The Universal Review for July, 1859.) That proclivity to generalization which is possessed in greater or less degree by all minds, and without which, indeed, intelligence cannot exist, has unavoidable inconveniences. Through it alone can truth be reached; and yet it almost inevitably betrays into error. But for the tendency to predicate of every other case, that which has been found in the observed cases, there could be no rational thinking; and yet by this indispensable tendency, men are perpetually led to found, on limited experience, propositions which they wrongly assume to be universal or absolute. In one... Essays - Post by : zoomingads - Date : August 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 2182

Bain On The Emotions And The Will Bain On The Emotions And The Will

Bain On The Emotions And The Will
(First published in The Medico-Chirurgical Review for January, 1860.) After the controversy between the Neptunists and the Vulcanists had been long carried on without definite results, there came a reaction against all speculative geology. Reasoning without adequate data having led to nothing, inquirers went into the opposite extreme, and confining themselves wholly to collecting data, relinquished reasoning. The Geological Society of London was formed with the express object of accumulating evidence; for many years hypotheses were forbidden at its meetings: and only of late have attempts to organize the mass of observations into consistent theory been tolerated. This reaction and subsequent... Essays - Post by : sword - Date : August 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 1458

The Social Organism The Social Organism

The Social Organism
(First published in The Westminster Review for January, 1860.) Sir James Macintosh got great credit for the saying, that "constitutions are not made, but grow." In our day, the most significant thing about this saying is, that it was ever thought so significant. As from the surprise displayed by a man at some familiar fact, you may judge of his general culture; so from the admiration which an age accords to a new thought, its average degree of enlightenment may be inferred. That this apophthegm of Macintosh should have been quoted and requoted as it has, shows how profound has been... Essays - Post by : nubian - Date : August 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 1695

The Origin Of Animal Worship The Origin Of Animal Worship

The Origin Of Animal Worship
(First published in The Fortnightly Review for May, 1870.) Mr. McLennan's recent essays on the Worship of Animals and Plants have done much to elucidate a very obscure subject. By pursuing in this case, as before in another case, the truly scientific method of comparing the phenomena presented by existing uncivilized races with those which the traditions of civilized races present, he has rendered both of them more comprehensible than they were before. It seems to me, however, that Mr. McLennan gives but an indefinite answer to the essential question--How did the worship of animals and plants arise? Indeed, in his... Essays - Post by : prozane - Date : August 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 2641

Morals And Moral Sentiments Morals And Moral Sentiments

Morals And Moral Sentiments
(First published in The Fortnightly Review for April, 1871.) If a writer who discusses unsettled questions takes up every gauntlet thrown down to him, polemical writing will absorb much of his energy. Having a power of work which unfortunately does not suffice for executing with anything like due rapidity the task I have undertaken, I have made it a policy to avoid controversy as much as possible, even at the cost of being seriously misunderstood. Hence it resulted that when in _Macmillan's Magazine_, for July, 1869, Mr. Richard Hutton published, under the title "A Questionable Parentage for Morals," a criticism on... Essays - Post by : ChatAgent - Date : August 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 3439

The Comparative Psychology Of Man The Comparative Psychology Of Man

The Comparative Psychology Of Man
(Originally read before the Anthropological Institute, and afterwards published in Mind, for January, 1876.) While discussing with two members of the Anthropological Institute the work to be undertaken by its psychological section, I made certain suggestions which they requested me to put in writing. When reminded, some months after, of the promise I had made to do this, I failed to recall the particular suggestions referred to; but in the endeavour to remember them, I was led to glance over the whole subject of comparative human psychology. Hence resulted the following paper. That making a general survey is useful as a... Essays - Post by : kmtman - Date : August 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 1808

Mr. Martineau On Evolution Mr. Martineau On Evolution

Mr. Martineau On Evolution
(First published in The Contemporary Review, for June, 1872.) The article by Mr. Martineau, in the April number of the _Contemporary Review_, on "The Place of Mind in Nature, and Intuition of Man," recalled to me a partially-formed intention to deal with the chief criticisms which have from time to time been made on the general doctrine set forth in _First Principles_; since, though not avowedly directed against propositions asserted or implied in that work, Mr. Martineau's reasoning tells against them by implication. The fulfilment of this intention I should, however, have continued to postpone, had I not learned that the... Essays - Post by : sadgrove - Date : August 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 2330

The Factors Of Organic Evolution The Factors Of Organic Evolution

The Factors Of Organic Evolution
(First published in The Nineteenth Century, for April and May, 1886.) I. Within the recollection of men now in middle life, opinion concerning the derivation of animals and plants was in a chaotic state. Among the unthinking there was tacit belief in creation by miracle, which formed an essential part of the creed of Christendom; and among the thinking there were two parties, each of which held an indefensible hypothesis. Immensely the larger of these parties, including nearly all whose scientific culture gave weight to their judgments, though not accepting literally the theologically-orthodox doctrine, made a compromise between that doctrine and... Essays - Post by : Des_Walsh - Date : August 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 1959

A Counter-criticism A Counter-criticism

A Counter-criticism
(_First published in_ The Nineteenth Century_, for February,_ 1888.) While I do not concur in sundry of the statements and conclusions contained in the article entitled "A Great Confession," contributed by the Duke of Argyll to the last number of this Review, yet I am obliged to him for having raised afresh the question discussed in it. Though the injunction "Rest and be thankful," is one for which in many spheres much may be said--especially in the political undue restlessness is proving very mischievous; yet rest and be thankful is an injunction out of place in science. Unhappily, while politicians... Essays - Post by : 593628 - Date : August 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 3080

John Stuart Mill: His Moral Character John Stuart Mill: His Moral Character

John Stuart Mill: His Moral Character
To dilate upon Mr. Mill's achievements, and to insist upon the wideness of his influence over the thought of his time and consequently over the actions of his time, seems to me scarcely needful. The facts are sufficiently obvious, and are recognized by all who know any thing about the progress of opinion during the last half century. My own estimate of him, intellectually considered, has been emphatically though briefly given on an occasion of controversy between us, by expressing my regret at 'having to contend against the doctrine of one whose agreement I should value more than that of any... Essays - Post by : Keith647 - Date : April 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 1038

The Philosophy Of Style The Philosophy Of Style

The Philosophy Of Style
PART I. CAUSES OF FORCE IN LANGUAGE WHICH DEPEND UPON ECONOMY OF THE MENTAL ENERGIES. I. The Principle of Economy. 1. Commenting on the seeming incongruity between his father's argumentative powers and his ignorance of formal logic, Tristram Shandy says:--"It was a matter of just wonder with my worthy tutor, and two or three fellows of that learned society, that a man who knew not so much as the names of his tools, should be able to work after that fashion with them." Sterne's intended implication that a knowledge of the principles of reasoning neither makes, nor is essential... Essays - Post by : clstone - Date : April 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 2987

What Knowledge Is Of Most Worth? What Knowledge Is Of Most Worth?

What Knowledge Is Of Most Worth?
It has been truly remarked that, in order of time, decoration precedes dress. Among people who submit to great physical suffering that they may have themselves handsomely tattooed, extremes of temperature are borne with but little attempt at mitigation. Humboldt tells us that an Orinoco Indian, though quite regardless of bodily comfort, will yet labour for a fortnight to purchase pigment wherewith to make himself admired; and that the same woman who would not hesitate to leave her hut without a fragment of clothing on, would not dare to commit such a breach of decorum as to go out unpainted. Voyagers... Essays - Post by : BizSuccess - Date : April 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 3494

Intellectual Education Intellectual Education

Intellectual Education
There cannot fail to be a relationship between the successive systems of education, and the successive social states with which they have co-existed. Having a common origin in the national mind, the institutions of each epoch, whatever be their special functions, must have a family likeness. When men received their creed and its interpretations from an infallible authority deigning no explanations, it was natural that the teaching of children should be purely dogmatic. While "believe and ask no questions" was the maxim of the Church, it was fitly the maxim of the school. Conversely, now that Protestantism has gained for adults... Essays - Post by : fmelton - Date : April 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 2233

Moral Education Moral Education

Moral Education
The greatest defect in our programmes of education is entirely overlooked. While much is being done in the detailed improvement of our systems in respect both of matter and manner, the most pressing desideratum has not yet been even recognised as a desideratum. To prepare the young for the duties of life is tacitly admitted to be the end which parents and schoolmasters should have in view; and happily, the value of the things taught, and the goodness of the methods followed in teaching them, are now ostensibly judged by their fitness to this end. The propriety of substituting for an... Essays - Post by : knopka - Date : April 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 1478

Physical Education Physical Education

Physical Education
Equally at the squire's table after the withdrawal of the ladies, at the farmers' market-ordinary, and at the village ale-house, the topic which, after the political question of the day, excites the most general interest, is the management of animals. Riding home from hunting, the conversation usually gravitates towards horse-breeding, and pedigrees, and comments on this or that "good point;" while a day on the moors is very unlikely to end without something being said on the treatment of dogs. When crossing the fields together from church, the tenants of adjacent farms are apt to pass from criticisms on the sermon... Essays - Post by : rmcsh1 - Date : April 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 3723

Progress: Its Law And Cause Progress: Its Law And Cause

Progress: Its Law And Cause
PROGRESS: ITS LAW AND CAUSE(1) The current conception of Progress is somewhat shifting and indefinite. Sometimes it comprehends little more than simple growth--as of a nation in the number of its members and the extent of territory over which it has spread. Sometimes it has reference to quantity of material products--as when the advance of agriculture and manufactures is the topic. Sometimes the superior quality of these products is contemplated: and sometimes the new or improved appliances by which they are produced. When, again, we speak of moral or intellectual progress, we refer to the state of the individual or people... Essays - Post by : exit9to5 - Date : April 2011 - Author : Herbert Spencer - Read : 3684