Herbert Spencer

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
Equity knows no difference of sex. In its vocabulary the word man must be understood in a generic, and not in a specific sense Equality & Equal Opportunity
Every cause produces more than one effect. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Every man may claim the fullest liberty to exercise his faculties compatible with the possession of like liberties by every other man. Freedom & Liberty
However insignificant the minority, and however trifling the proposed trespass against their rights, no such trespass is permissible. Minorities & Women
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. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
If people by a plebiscite elect a man despot over them, do they remain free because the despotism was of their own making? Are the coercive edicts issued by him to be regarded as legitimate because they are the ultimate outcome of their own votes? Voters, Voting & Elections ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
Morality knows nothing of geographical boundaries, or distinctions of race. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
No one can be perfectly free till all are free; no one can be perfectly moral till all are moral; no one can be perfectly happy till all are happy. Freedom & Liberty
No philosopher's stone of a constitution can produce golden conduct from leaden instincts. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Old forms of government finally grow so oppressive, that they must be thrown off even at the risk of reigns of terror. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Old forms of government finally grow so oppressive, that they must be thrown off even at the risk of reigns of terror. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Opinion is ultimately determined by the feelings, and not by the intellect. Human Nature ;Public Opinion & Polling
The fact disclosed by a survey of the past that majorities have usually been wrong, must not blind us to the complementary fact that majorities have usually not been entirely wrong. History
The Republican form of government is the highest form of government; but because of this it requires the highest type of human nature — a type nowhere at present existing Democracies & Republics
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly, is to fill the world with fools. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The universal basis of co-operation is the proportioning of benefits received to services rendered. Management & Managing Government
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. Like the majority of men who are born to a given belief, they demand the most rigorous proof of any adverse belief, but assume that their own needs none. Human Nature ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
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. Like the majority of men who are born to a given belief, they demand the most rigorous proof of any adverse belief, but assume that their own needs none. Human Nature
Thus by survival of the fittest, the militant type of society becomes characterized by profound confidence in the governing power, joined with a loyalty causing submission to it in all matters whatever Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest ;Capitalism
Unlike private enterprise which quickly modifies its actions to meet emergencies — … the law-made instrumentality lumbers on under all varieties of circumstances at its habitual rate. By its very nature it is fitted only for average requirements, and inevitably fails under unusual requirements. Management & Managing Government
Unlike private enterprise which quickly modifies its actions to meet emergencies — unlike the shopkeeper who promptly finds the wherewith to satisfy a sudden demand — unlike the railway company which doubles its trains to carry a special influx of passengers; the law-made instrumentality lumbers on under all varieties of circumstances at its habitual rate. By its very nature it is fitted only for average requirements, and inevitably fails under unusual requirements. Bureaucracy
Volumes might be written upon the impiety of the pious. Religion & God
When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don’t care if they are shot themselves. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
A jury is composed of twelve men of average ignorance. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
A living thing is distinguished from a dead thing by the multiplicity of the changes at any moment taking place in it.
All socialism involves slavery. Government
An argument fatal to the communist theory, is suggested by the fact, that a desire for property is one of the elements of our nature. Nature
Be bold, be bold, and everywhere be bold.
Civilization is a progress from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity toward a definite, coherent heterogeneity.
Divine right of kings means the divine right of anyone who can get uppermost.
Education has for its object the formation of character. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Government is essentially immoral. Government
Hero-worship is strongest where there is least regard for human freedom. Freedom & Liberty
How often misused words generate misleading thoughts.
In science the important thing is to modify and change one's ideas as science advances. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Life is the continuous adjustment of internal relations to external relations. Life
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. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Marriage: a ceremony in which rings are put on the finger of the lady and through the nose of the gentleman. Families, Children & Parenting
Marriage: A word which should be pronounced 'mirage'. Families, Children & Parenting
Music must take rank as the highest of the fine arts - as the one which, more than any other, ministers to the human spirit. Music, Chants & Rapps
Objects we ardently pursue bring little happiness when gained; most of our pleasures come from unexpected sources. Happiness & Unhappiness
Old forms of government finally grow so oppressive that they must be thrown off even at the risk of reigns of terror. Government
Our lives are universally shortened by our ignorance.
People are beginning to see that the first requisite to success in life is to be a good animal. Life ;Success
Science is organized knowledge. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Society exists for the benefit of its members, not the members for the benefit of society. Society
The behavior of men to the lower animals, and their behavior to each other, bear a constant relationship.
The fact disclosed by a survey of the past that majorities have been wrong must not blind us to the complementary fact that majorities have usually not been entirely wrong.
The great aim of education is not knowledge but action. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The more specific idea of Evolution now reached is - a change from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity to a definite, coherent heterogeneity, accompanying the dissipation of motion and integration of matter.
The preservation of health is a duty. Few seem conscious that there is such a thing as physical morality. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
The Republican form of government is the highest form of government: but because of this it requires the highest type of human nature, a type nowhere at present existing. Nature ;Government
The wise man must remember that while he is a descendant of the past, he is a parent of the future. Future
Those who have never entered upon scientific pursuits know not a tithe of the poetry by which they are surrounded. Literature, Writers & Writing
We all decry prejudice, yet are all prejudiced.
We do not commonly see in a tax a diminution of freedom, and yet it clearly is one. Freedom & Liberty
What a cage is to the wild beast, law is to the selfish man.
When a man's knowledge is not in order, the more of it he has the greater will be his confusion. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training