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14 Works of Herbert Spencer

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[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 Hence there are some opinions spoken of as current which are no longer current.]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 […]

[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 […]

[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 […]

[First published in The Westminster Review for April, 1857. Though the ideas and illustrations contained in this essay were eventually incorporated in First Principles, yet I think it well here to reproduce it as exhibiting the form under which the General Doctrine of Evolution made its first appearance.] The current conception of progress is shifting […]

[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 […]

[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 […]

[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 […]

[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, […]

[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, […]

[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 […]

[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 […]

[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; […]

[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 […]

[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 […]