Herbert Spencer Quotes

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

This is the first use of the famous phrase—“survival of the fittest.” Spencer thought of it as a synonym for Darwin’s “natural selection”, but modern scientists do not use the phrase because it is circular reasoning. It is the fittest who survive it implies when whichever species survives is obviously fittest for that time and place. It is also misinterpreted as a predation scale war which it is not. The lion is much stronger than the antelopes and feeds on them, but the lions are dying out while the antelopes are thriving and developing. The fittest may be so because the species is a faster and more reliable breeder. Most people with a limited knowledge of evolution and scince associate the fittest with the top predator. However, over time, most top predators have NOT survived as well as many other species which in a predation fight are weak, but are more can handle a wider climate range, can change rapidly in response to natural disaters, can breed efficiently, are resistant to diseases, require less food, and literally thousands of other factors.

Herbert Spencer, 1820-1903, English Social Philosopher, The Man Versus The State

Eigen's Political and Historical Quotations

Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer
  • Born: April 27, 1820
  • Died: December 8, 1903
  • Nationality: British
  • Profession: Philosopher

Herbert Spencer was an English philosopher, biologist, anthropologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era.