Herbert Spencer
#46 Overall Influence

Herbert Spencer

English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist

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Herbert Spencer was an English philosopher, biologist, anthropologist, and sociologist famous for his theory of social Darwinism whereby superior physical force shapes history. Spencer originated the expression “survival of the fittest”, which he coined in Principles of Biology after reading Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. The term strongly suggests natural selection, yet Spencer saw evolution as extending into realms of sociology and ethics, so he also supported Lamarckism.

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Influence Rankings by Discipline

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#5 World Rank
Sociology
#21 World Rank
Anthropology
#36 World Rank
Biology
#73 World Rank
Philosophy
#77 World Rank
Economics
#102 World Rank
Psychology
#817 World Rank
Literature