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Herbert Spencer (1820 - 1903)

Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer was a theorist whose valuable insights have often been drowned in a sea of irrelevance and spacious reasoning. He is popularly known as the British Aristotle and often called the second founding father of sociology. Spencer's ideas have left an indelible impression on the succeeding writers. Spencer's name was associated with the birth of sociology in England. Herbert Spencer was born an April 27, 1820, in Derby in England. He was a man of original and independent thinking. He died in December 08, 1903.

Spencer is popularly known for his treatment of evolution. The evolutionary doctrine was no doubt the foundation of Spencer's sociological theory. He, however, presented the organic analogy, a secondary doctrine which also played a vital role in his thought system. He compared the society with a biological organism. But this comparison of the society with the biological organism was not originally propounded by Herbert Spencer. Several other philosophers had given the concept previously. He established the hypothesis that society is like a biological organism and then proceeded to defend it against all objectives with great logical force. Indeed, he regarded the recognition of the similarity between society and organism as the first step towards a general theory of evaluation.

Spencer has contributed to various fields of knowledge like philosophy, biology, psychology, anthropology and sociology. Spencer wrote a number of books.

They are as follows.
  1. Social Statics (1850)
  2. First Principles (1862).
  3. The study of Sociology (1873)
  4. The Principles of Sociology in three volumes (1876-96)
  5. The Man verses the State (1884) Organic Analogy:
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