Herbert Spencer

[Revised entry by David Weinstein on January 19, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Herbert Spencer (1820 - 1903) is typically, though quite wrongly, considered a coarse social Darwinist.
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[Revised entry by David Weinstein on January 19, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Herbert Spencer (1820 - 1903) is typically, though quite wrongly, considered a coarse social Darwinist. After all, Spencer, and not Darwin, coined the infamous expression "survival of the fittest", leading G. E. Moore to conclude erroneously in Principia Ethica (1903) that Spencer committed the naturalistic fallacy. According to Moore, Spencer's practical reasoning was deeply flawed insofar as he purportedly conflated mere survivability (a natural property) with goodness itself (a non-natural...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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