Best quotes by the English Philosopher Herbert Spencer

How often misused words generate misleading thoughts.
  • Words

Be bold, be bold, and everywhere be bold.
  • Risk

Objects we ardently pursue bring little happiness when gained; most of our pleasures come from unexpected sources.
  • Happiness

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



The preservation of health is a duty. Few seem conscious that there is such a thing as physical morality.
  • Health

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

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

Time: that which man is always trying to kill, ends in killing him.
  • Time

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.
  • Love

Marriage: A ceremony in which rings are put on the finger of the lady and through the nose of the gentleman.
  • Marriage

In science the important thing is to modify and change one's ideas as science advances.
  • Science

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

Society exists for the benefit of its members, not the members for the benefit of society.
  • benefit

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

A jury is composed of twelve men of average ignorance.
  • Justice

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

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

Marriage: A word which should be pronounced 'mirage'.
  • marriage

Government is essentially immoral.
  • essentially

Education has for its object the formation of character. To curb restive propensities, to awaken dormant sentiments, to strengthen the perceptions, and cultivate the tastes, to encourage this feeling and repress that, so as finally to develop the child into a man of well proportioned and harmonious naturethis is alike the aim of parent and teacher.

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.

A living thing is distinguished from a dead thing by the multiplicity of the changes at any moment taking place in it.
  • Change

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.
  • Evolution

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.
  • Government

There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation.
  • Questions

Science is organized knowledge.
  • Science

It was remarked to me by the late Mr. Charles Roupell . . . that to play billiards well was a sign of an ill-spent youth.
  • Youth

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.
  • blind

The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.
  • action

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.
  • existing

We do not commonly see in a tax a diminution of freedom, and yet it clearly is one.
  • freedom

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

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

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.
  • accompanying


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