Goodreads helps you follow your favorite authors. Be the first to learn about new releases!
Start by following Herbert Spencer.

Herbert Spencer Herbert Spencer > Quotes


Herbert Spencer quotes Showing 1-30 of 39

“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.”
Herbert Spencer
“The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.”
Herbert Spencer
tags: folly
“[L]et us not overlook the further great fact, that not only does science underlie sculpture, painting, music, poetry, but that science is itself poetic. The current opinion that science and poetry are opposed is a delusion. ... On the contrary science opens up realms of poetry where to the unscientific all is a blank. Those engaged in scientific researches constantly show us that they realize not less vividly, but more vividly, than others, the poetry of their subjects. Whoever will dip into Hugh Miller's works on geology, or read Mr. Lewes's “Seaside Studies,” will perceive that science excites poetry rather than extinguishes it. And whoever will contemplate the life of Goethe will see that the poet and the man of science can co-exist in equal activity. Is it not, indeed, an absurd and almost a sacrilegious belief that the more a man studies Nature the less he reveres it? Think you that a drop of water, which to the vulgar eye is but a drop of water, loses anything in the eye of the physicist who knows that its elements are held together by a force which, if suddenly liberated, would produce a flash of lightning? Think you that what is carelessly looked upon by the uninitiated as a mere snow-flake, does not suggest higher associations to one who has seen through a microscope the wondrously varied and elegant forms of snow-crystals? Think you that the rounded rock marked with parallel scratches calls up as much poetry in an ignorant mind as in the mind of a geologist, who knows that over this rock a glacier slid a million years ago? The truth is, that those who have never entered upon scientific pursuits know not a tithe of the poetry by which they are surrounded. Whoever has not in youth collected plants and insects, knows not half the halo of interest which lanes and hedge-rows can assume. Whoever has not sought for fossils, has little idea of the poetical associations that surround the places where imbedded treasures were found. Whoever at the seaside has not had a microscope and aquarium, has yet to learn what the highest pleasures of the seaside are. Sad, indeed, is it to see how men occupy themselves with trivialities, and are indifferent to the grandest phenomena—care not to understand the architecture of the universe, but are deeply interested in some contemptible controversy about the intrigues of Mary Queen of Scots!—are learnedly critical over a Greek ode, and pass by without a glance that grand epic... upon the strata of the Earth!”
Herbert Spencer
“Be bold, be bold, and everywhere be bold.”
Herbert Spencer
“Whatever fosters militarism makes for barbarism; whatever fosters peace makes for civilization.”
Herbert Spencer
“Before he can remake his society, his society must make him.”
Herbert Spencer
“The preservation of health is a duty. Few seem conscious that there is such a thing as physical morality.”
Herbert Spencer
“How often misused words generate misleading thoughts.”
Herbert Spencer
tags: 278
“If a single cell, under appropriate conditions, becomes a man in the space of a few years, there can surely be no difficulty in understanding how, under appropriate conditions, a cell may, in the course of untold millions of years, give origin to the human race.”
Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Biology, Vol 1
“They who employ force by proxy are as much responsible for that force as though they employed it themselves.”
Herbert Spencer
“No man is equal to his book. All the best products of his mental activity go into his book, where they come separated from the mass of inferior products with which they are mingled in his daily talk.”
Herbert Spencer, An Autobiography, Part 1
“There is a principal
which is proof against all information,
which is proof against all arguments,
which cannot fail to keep man in
everlasting ignorance;
that principal is -
Contempt prior to investigation !”
HERBERT SPENCER
“And yet, strange to say, now that the truth [of natural selection] is recognized by most cultivated people...now more than ever, in the history of the world, are they doing all they can to further the survival of the unfittest.”
Herbert Spencer
“The forces which are working out the great scheme of perfect happiness, taking no account of incidental suffering, exterminate such sections of mankind as stand in their way, with the same sternness that they exterminate beasts of prey and herds of useless ruminants.”
Herbert Spencer, Social Statics or The Conditions Essential to Human Happiness Specified and the First of Them Developed
“Love is life's end, but never ending. Love is life's wealth, never spent, but ever spending. Love's life's reward, rewarded in rewarding.”
Herbert Spencer
“We too often forget that not only is there 'a soul of goodness in things evil,' but very generally also, a soul of truth in things erroneous.”
Herbert Spencer, First Principles
“إن الأديان على قدر إختلافها فى عقائدها المعلنة,تتفق ضمنيا فى إيمانها بأن وجود الكون هو سر يتطلب التفسير”
Herbert Spencer
“Science is organized knowledge.”
Herbert Spencer
“Evolution is an integration of matter and concomitant dissipation of motion during which the matter passes from an indefinite incoherent homogeneity to a definite coherent heterogeneity, and during which the retained motion undergoes a parallel transformation.”
Herbert Spencer, First Principles
“This survival of the fittest implies multiplication of the fittest.

{The phrase 'survival of the fittest' was not originated by Charles Darwin, though he discussed Spencer's 'excellent expression' in a letter to Alfred Russel Wallace (Jul 1866).}”
Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Biology, Vol 1
“Consumptive patients, with lungs incompetent to perform the duties of lungs, people with defective hearts that break down under excitement of the circulation, people with any constitutional flaw preventing the due fulfillment of the conditions of life are continually dying out and leaving behind those fit for the climate, food, and habits to which they are born....And thus is the race kept free from vitiation.”
Herbert Spencer
“No one can be perfectly happy till all are happy.”
Herbert Spencer
“in the course of social evolution, usage precedes law; and that when usage has been well established it becomes law by receiving authoritative endorsement and defined form.”
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
“Increasing power of a growing administrative organization is accompanied by decreasing power of the rest of the society to resist its further growth and control.”
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
“Education has for its object the formation of character.”
Herbert Spencer
“This survival of the fittest which I have here sought to express in mechanical terms, is that which Mr. Darwin has called 'natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life.”
Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Biology, Vol 1
“Those who cavalierly reject the Theory of Evolution, as not adequately supported by facts, seem quite to forget that their own theory is supported by no facts at all.”
Herbert Spencer
“When a man's knowledge is not in order, the more of it he has, the greater is his confusion.”
Herbert Spencer
“فليعترف العلم بأن قوانينه تنطبق على الظواهر والأمورالنسبية فقط، وليعترف الدين أن لاهوته خرافة لتبرير ايمان يتنافى مع العقل. وليتوقف الدين عن تصوير الله بشكل إنسان عظيم، والأسوأ في تصويره بالقسوة والغدر والتعطش لسفك الدماء ومحبة النفاق والرياء من الناس. وليتوقف العلم عن إنكار وجود الله، أو التسليم بالمادية على أساس أنها قضية مسلمة. أن كلا العقل والمادة ظواهر نسبية، وهما معلول مزدوج لعلة نهائية ينبغي أن تظل طبيعتها مجهولة . ان الاعتراف بهذه لوقة الغامضة هو جوهر الحقيقة في كل دين، وبداية الفلسفة.”
Herbert Spencer
“Crime is incurable, save by that gradual process of adaptation to the social state which humanity is undergoing. Crime is the continual breaking out of the old unadapted nature -- the index of a character unfitted to its conditions -- and only as fast as the unfitness diminishes can crime diminish.”
Herbert Spencer

« previous 1

All Quotes | Add A Quote


The Man Versus the State: With Six Essays on Government, Society, and Freedom The Man Versus the State
212 ratings
Open Preview
The Right To Ignore The State The Right To Ignore The State
74 ratings
Open Preview
First Principles First Principles
67 ratings
Open Preview
The Philosophy of Style The Philosophy of Style
89 ratings
Open Preview