1st Edition

Herbert Spencer: Legacies

ISBN 9781844655878
Published September 4, 2014 by Routledge
284 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

Herbert Spencer: Legacies explores and assesses the impact of the ideas and work of the great Victorian polymath Herbert Spencer across a wide range of disciplines. In the course of the essays a significant re-evaluation of his influence on Victorian and Edwardian thought is provided. Spencer's contribution to the fields of sociology, anthropology, psychology, biology and ecology are considered, alongside his influence on key figures in science and philosophy.

The book brings together scholars from a wide range of disciplines to explore Spencer's nuanced and complex ideas and will be invaluable for historians of science and ideas, and all those interested in the intellectual culture of the late Victorian and Edwardian period.

Contributors: Peter J. Bowler, James Elwick, Mark Francis, Bernard Lightman, Chris Renwick, Vanessa L. Ryan, John Skorupski, Michael W. Taylor, Stephen Tomlinson, and Jonathan H. Turner

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Mark Francis  2. The method of nature: Herbert Spencer and the education of the adaptive mind Stephen Tomlinson  3. Herbert Spencer: nineteenth-century politics and twentieth-century individualism Michael W. Taylor  4. Herbert Spencer’s sociological legacy Jonathan H. Turner  5. Containing multitudes: Herbert Spencer, organisms social and orders of individuality James Elwick  6. Herbert Spencer, biology, and the social sciences in Britain Chris Renwick  7. Spencer and the moral philosophers: Mill, Sidgwick, Moore John Skorupski  8. The problem with star dust: Spencer’s psychology and William James Mark Francis  9. Spencer, cognition, fiction Vanessa L. Ryan  10. Herbert Spencer and Lamarckism Peter J. Bowler  11. Spencer’s British disciples Bernard Lightman. Index

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Mark Francis is Professor of Political Science at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. He is author of the critically acclaimed Herbert Spencer and the Invention of Modern Life (2007).

Michael W. Taylor has written several well received books on Herbert Spencer, including Men Versus the State: Herbert Spencer and Late Victorian Individualism (1992) and The Philosophy of Herbert Spencer (2007).


A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, 2015

'The contributions in this essential addition to scholarly collections are insightful critiques of Spencer’s thought, influence, and connections to the contemporary world. ... Each author introduces a different aspect of Spencer’s thought, puts it into late-19th-through early-20th-century context, identifies its contemporary influence, and suggests its ongoing relevance. Spencer scholars will find things with which to quibble, but overall this is the best and most comprehensive consideration of Spencer’s place and influence in the broad history of ideas since 1900. Summing Up: Essential.' - C. R. Versen, CHOICE