Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)




For information about Spoencer's life and work see the entry on him in the Encyclpedia of Liebrtarianism (2008):



Texts in the Collection

Social Statics: or, The Conditions essential to Happiness specified, and the First of them Developed, (London: John Chapman, 1851).

See also the 1954 Falkenbach edition in facs. PDF


Herbert Spencer, The Man versus the State: Containing “The New Toryism,” “The Coming Slavery,” “The Sins of Legislators,” and “The Great Political Superstition.” Reprinted from The Contemporary Review. With a Postscript. (London: William and Norgate, 1885).

See also the 1892 edition in facs. PDF.


Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Ethics, in two volumes (1879-92). The edition used here is the 1897 edition. It has the following parts which have been combined into one HTML file:

  • Volume I – Part I: The Data of Ethics (1879); Part II: The Inductions of Ethics (1892); Part III: The Ethics of Individual Life (1892) in facs. PDF
  • Volume II – Part IV: The Ethics of Social Life: Justice (1891); Part V: The Ethics of Social Life: Negative Beneficence (1892); Part VI: The Ethics of Social Life: Positive Beneficence (1892) in facs. PDF


Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Sociology, in three volumes (1874-1896). Edition used 1898.

The three volume work on The Principles of Sociology appeared between 1874 and 1896 and was made up of the following parts:

  • Volume I (1874–75; enlarged 1876, 1885) in facs. PDF
    • Part I: Data of Sociology; Part II: Inductions of Sociology; Part III: Domestic Institutions
  • Volume II (1879-1885) in facs. PDF
    • Part IV: Ceremonial Institutions (1879); Part V: Political Institutions (1882); Part VI : Ecclesiastical Institutions (1885)
  • Volume III (1885-1896) in facs. PDF
    • Part VI : Ecclesiastical Institutions (1885); Part VII: Professional Institutions (1896); Part VIII: Industrial Institutions (1896)