Herbert Spencer  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Herbert Spencer (April 27, 1820December 8, 1903) was an English philosopher; prominent classical liberal political theorist; and sociological theorist.

Spencer developed an all-embracing conception of evolution as the progressive development of the physical world, biological organisms, the human mind, and human culture and societies. The lifelong bachelor contributed to a wide range of subjects, including ethics, religion, politics, philosophy, biology, sociology, and psychology.

He is best known for coining the phrase, "survival of the fittest," which he did in Principles of Biology (1864), after reading Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species. This term strongly suggests natural selection, yet as Spencer extended evolution into realms of sociology and ethics, he made use of Lamarckism rather than natural selection.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Herbert Spencer" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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