The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.

— Herbert Spencer

The most spectacular Herbert Spencer quotes that will transform you to a better person

The wise man must remember that while he is a descendant of the past, he is a parent of the future.


How often misused words generate misleading thoughts.


All socialism involves slavery.


This survival of the fittest which I have here sought to express in mechanical terms, is that which Mr. Darwin has called "natural selection", or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life.


Hero-worship is strongest where there is least regard for human freedom.


Mother, when your children are irritable, do not make them more so by scolding and fault-finding, but correct their irritability by good nature and mirthfulness. Irritability comes from errors in food, bad air, too little sleep, a necessity for change of scene and surroundings; from confinement in close rooms, and lack of sunshine.


Be bold, be bold, and everywhere be bold.


This survival of the fittest implies multiplication of the fittest.


Civilization is a progress from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity toward a definite, coherent heterogeneity.


A man's liberties are none the less aggressed upon because those who coerce him do so in the belief that he will be benefited.


Old forms of government finally grow so oppressive that they must be thrown off even at the risk of reigns of terror.


The existence of a first cause of the universe is a necessity of thought .

.. Amid the mysteries which become more mysterious the more they are thought about, there will remain the one absolute certainty that we are over in the presence of an Infinite, Eternal Energy from which all things proceed.


About Herbert Spencer

Quotes 181 sayings
Nationality English
Profession Philosopher
Birthday October 16

Opinion is ultimately determined by the feelings, and not by the intellect.


Objects we ardently pursue bring little happiness when gained;

most of our pleasures come from unexpected sources.


If men use their liberty in such a way as to surrender their liberty, are they thereafter any the less slaves? If people by a plebiscite elect a man despot over them, do they remain free because the despotism was of their own making?


The preservation of health is a duty.

Few seem conscious that there is such a thing as physical morality.


The most important attribute of man as a moral being is the faculty of self-control.


Science is organized knowledge.


To play billiards well is the sign of a misspent youth.


The pursuit of individual happiness within those limits prescribed by social conditions, is the first requisite to the attainment of the greatest general happiness.


When a man's knowledge is not in order, the more of it he has, the greater will be his confusion.


Feudalism, serfdom, slavery — all tyrannical institutions, are merely the most vigorous kinds of rule, springing out of, and necessary to, a bad state of man. The progress from these is in all cases the same — less government.


A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.


Truth generally lies in the coordination of antagonistic opinions.


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.


Regarding language as an apparatus of symbols for the conveyance of thought, we may say that, as in a mechanical apparatus, the more simple and the better arranged its parts, the greater will be the effect produced.


Reading is seeing by proxy.


Mental power cannot be got from ill-fed brains.


It cannot but happen?that those will survive whose functions happen to be most nearly in equilibrium with the modified aggregate of external forces? This survival of the fittest implies multiplication of the fittest.


We all decry prejudice, yet are all prejudiced.


All socialism involves slavery. That which fundamentally distinguishes the slave is that he labours under coercion to satisfy anothers desires.


What a cage is to the wild beast, law is to the selfish man.


Policeman are soldiers who act alone; soldiers are policeman who act in unison.


Equity knows no difference of sex. In its vocabulary the word man must be understood in a generic, and not in a specific sense.


Divine right of kings means the divine right of anyone who can get uppermost.


Agnostics are people who, like myself, confess themselves to be hopelessly ignorant concerning a variety of matters, about which metaphysicians and theologians, both orthodox and heterodox, dogmatize with the utmost confidence.


The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly, is to fill the world with fools.


The saying that beauty is but skin deep, is but a skin-deep saying.


Government is essentially immoral.


People are beginning to see that the first requisite to success in life is to be a good animal.


A jury is composed of twelve men of average ignorance.


Education has for its object the formation of character.


A nation's institutions and beliefs are determined by it's character.


The authoritarian sets up some book, or man, or tradition to establish the truth. The freethinker sets up reason and private judgment to discover the truth... It takes the highest courage to utter unpopular truths.


Every unpunished delinquency has a family of delinquencies.


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.


Progress is not an accident, not a thing within human control, but a beneficent necessity ... due to the working of a universal law. So surely must the things we call evil and immorality disappear; so surely must man become perfect.


Conservatism defends those coercive arrangements which a still-lingering savageness makes requisite. Radicalism endeavours to realize a state more in harmony with the character of the ideal man.


Volumes might be written upon the impiety of the pious.