Date of Award


Degree Type

Bachelors Essay

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)




It might be well at the beginning of this discussion on the philosophy of Herbert Spencer to give a brief biographical sketch concerning his earlier life.

He was born at Derby, England on the 27th of April, 1820. His father, William George Spencer, was a schoolmaster. The religious convictions of his parent familiarized him with the doctrines of the Methodists and Quakers. He declined an offer from his uncle to go to Cambridge and as a result, was practically self taught.

For a few years he was employed as an engineer and giving this up, he became sub- editor of the Economist. Up to the time of about 1860 he contributed a large number of articles to the Westminster Review, which contains the first sketches of his philosophic doctrines. He also published two larger works, Social Statics in 1850, and Principles of Psychology in 1855. In 1860 he sent out the syllabus of his synthetic philosophy in ten volumes, and in spite of his ill health had the satisfaction of completing it in 1896 with the third volume of the Principles of Sociology. He died on the 8th of December 1903.


A Thesis Submitted to Fulfill the Requirements for The Degree of Bachelor of Philosophy

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