Political Theory

Herbert Spencer’s “Social Statics” after 150 Years


In celebration of its 150th anniversary, this colloquium focused on Social Statics in relation to the radical and utilitarian traditions, Spencer’s evolutionism, and Spencer’s alleged “drift towards conservatism” in later years.


Conference Readings

Gray, John. Hayek on Liberty. London: Routledge, 1998.

Halévy, Elie. The Growth of Philosophic Radicalism. Translated by Mary Morris. London: Faber & Faber, 1972.

Herbert, Auberon. The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State and Other Essays. Edited by Eric Mack. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1978.

Hodgskin, Thomas. The Natural and Artificial Right of Property Contrasted. London: B. Steil, 1832.

Long, Roderick T. “Herbert Spencer: Libertarian Prophet.” The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty 54, no. 6 (July/August 2004): 25-28.

Nisbet, Robert. History of the Idea of Progress. Piscataway: Transaction Publishers, 1994.

Peel, J. D. Y. Herbert Spencer: The Evolution of a Sociologist. New York: Basic Books, 1971.

Smith, George H. “Herbert Spencer’s Theory of Causation.” The Journal of Libertarian Studies 5, no. 2 (Spring 1981): 113-152.

Spencer, Herbert. The Principles of Ethics, Volume II. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1978.

Spencer, Herbert. Essays: Scientific, Political, and Speculative, Volume I. London: Williams and Norgate, 1891. http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/335 (accessed ).

Spencer, Herbert. The Man Versus the State. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1982.

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

Spencer, Herbert. Herbert Spencer, Essays: Scientific, Political, and Speculative, Volume III. London: Williams and Norgate, 1891.

Taylor, Michael. The Philosophy of Herbert Spencer. New York: Continuum International Publishing, 2007.