Herbert Spencer citáty

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Herbert Spencer

Datum narození: 27. duben 1820
Datum úmrtí: 8. prosinec 1903

Herbert Spencer byl klasický britský sociolog a filosof. Patří mezi zastánce tzv. „organicistického proudu“ v sociologii, jenž se vyznačuje důrazem na podobnost rysů lidské společnosti a biologického organismu. Mnoho z jeho myšlenek vstoupilo do všeobecného povědomí, jen málo lidí však dnes tuší, kdo je jejich původním autorem. Wikipedia

„Existuje zásada, která slouží jako závora proti každé informaci, jako důkaz proti jakémukoli argumentu, která udržuje lidi v ustavičné nevědomosti. Zmíněná zásada zní: Odsouzení před zkoumáním.“

—  Herbert Spencer

Zdroj: Messner, Reinhold, Reinhold Messner, Červená světlice na Nanga Parbatu, Brána, Praha, 2010, 1, 285, 257, 978-80-7243-439-8, Jaroslav Voříšek

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„It is provable both that the historical sequence was, in its main outlines, a necessary one; and that the causes which determined it apply to the child“

—  Herbert Spencer

Education: Intellectual, Moral, and Physical (1861)
Kontext: It is provable both that the historical sequence was, in its main outlines, a necessary one; and that the causes which determined it apply to the child as to the race.... as the mind of humanity placed in the midst of phenomena and striving to comprehend them has, after endless comparisons, speculations, experiments, and theories, reached its present knowledge of each subject by a specific route; it may rationally be inferred that the relationship between mind and phenomena is such as to prevent this knowledge from being reached by any other route; and that as each child's mind stands in this same relationship to phenomena, they can be accessible to it only through the same route. Hence in deciding upon the right method of education, an inquiry into the method of civilization will help to guide us.<!--pp.76-77

„All evil results from the non-adaptation of constitution to conditions. This is true of everything that lives.“

—  Herbert Spencer, kniha Social Statics

Part I, Ch. 2 : The Evanescence of Evil, § 1
Social Statics (1851)
Kontext: All evil results from the non-adaptation of constitution to conditions. This is true of everything that lives. Does a shrub dwindle in poor soil, or become sickly when deprived of light, or die outright if removed to a cold climate? it is because the harmony between its organization and its circumstances has been destroyed.

„To the clergy nothing is more obvious than that a state-church is just, and essential to the maintenance of religion. The sinecurist thinks himself rightly indignant at any disregard of his vested interests. And so on throughout society.“

—  Herbert Spencer, kniha Social Statics

Pt. II, Ch. 16 : The Rights of Women
Social Statics (1851)
Kontext: Attila conceived himself to have a divine claim to the dominion of the earth: — the Spaniards subdued the Indians under plea of converting them to Christianity; hanging thirteen refractory ones in honour of Jesus Christ and his apostles: and we English justify our colonial aggressions by saying that the Creator intends the Anglo-Saxon race to people the world! An insatiate lust of conquest transmutes manslaying into a virtue; and, amongst more races than one, implacable revenge has made assassination a duty. A clever theft was praiseworthy amongst the Spartans; and it is equally so amongst Christians, provided it be on a sufficiently large scale. Piracy was heroism with Jason and his followers; was so also with the Norsemen; is so still with the Malays; and there is never wanting some golden fleece for a pretext. Amongst money-hunting people a man is commended in proportion to the number of hours he spends in business; in our day the rage for accumulation has apotheosized work; and even the miser is not without a code of morals by which to defend his parsimony. The ruling classes argue themselves into the belief that property should be represented rather than person — that the landed interest should preponderate. The pauper is thoroughly persuaded that he has a right to relief. The monks held printing to be an invention of the devil; and some of our modern sectaries regard their refractory brethren as under demoniacal possession. To the clergy nothing is more obvious than that a state-church is just, and essential to the maintenance of religion. The sinecurist thinks himself rightly indignant at any disregard of his vested interests. And so on throughout society.

„Progress, therefore, is not an accident, but a necessity.“

—  Herbert Spencer, kniha Social Statics

Pt. I, Ch. 2 : The Evanescence of Evil, concluding paragraph
Social Statics (1851)
Kontext: Man needed one moral constitution to fit him for his original state; he needs another to fit him for his present state; and he has been, is, and will long continue to be, in process of adaptation. And the belief in human perfectibility merely amounts to the belief that, in virtue of this process, man will eventually become completely suited to his mode of life.
Progress, therefore, is not an accident, but a necessity. Instead of civilization being artificial, it is part of nature; all of a piece with the development of the embryo or the unfolding of a flower. The modifications mankind have undergone, and are still undergoing, result from a law underlying the whole organic creation; and provided the human race continues, and the constitution of things remains the same, those modifications must end in completeness.

„Be it or be it not true that Man is shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin, it is unquestionably true that Government is begotten of aggression, and by aggression.“

—  Herbert Spencer

<!-- The first sentence is attributed as a statement of 1850 in the introduction of Our Enemy, the State http://www.barefootsworld.net/nockoets0.html by Albert Jay Nock -->
The Man versus the State (1884), The Sins of Our Legislators
Kontext: Be it or be it not true that Man is shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin, it is unquestionably true that Government is begotten of aggression, and by aggression. In small undeveloped societies where for ages complete peace has continued, there exists nothing like what we call Government: no coercive agency, but mere honorary headship, if any headship at all. In these exceptional communities, unaggressive and from special causes unaggressed upon, there is so little deviation from the virtues of truthfulness, honesty, justice, and generosity, that nothing beyond an occasional expression of public opinion by informally-assembled elders is needful. Conversely, we find proofs that, at first recognized but temporarily during leadership in war, the authority of a chief is permanently established by continuity of war; and grows strong where successful aggression ends in subjection of neighboring tribes. And thence onwards, examples furnished by all races put beyond doubt the truth, that the coercive power of the chief, developing into king, and king of kings (a frequent title in the ancient East), becomes great in proportion as conquest becomes habitual and the union of subdued nations extensive. Comparisons disclose a further truth which should be ever present to us — the truth that the aggressiveness of the ruling power inside a society increases with its aggressiveness outside the society. As, to make an efficient army, the soldiers in their several grades must be subordinate to the commander; so, to make an efficient fighting community, must the citizens be subordinate to the ruling power. They must furnish recruits to the extent demanded, and yield up whatever property is required.
An obvious implication is that the ethics of Government, originally identical with the ethics of war, must long remain akin to them; and can diverge from them only as warlike activities and preparations become less.

„The current opinion that science and poetry are opposed is a delusion.“

—  Herbert Spencer

Lectures on Education delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, London, 1855, published in "What Knowledge is of Most Worth", The Westminster Review (July 1859) volume CXLI, p. 1-23, at p. 19 http://books.google.com/books?id=5NQ6AQAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA19
Kontext: The current opinion that science and poetry are opposed is a delusion. … Think you that a drop of water, which to the vulgar eye is but a drop of water, loses any thing in the eye of the physicist who knows that its elements are held together by a force which, if suddenly liberated, would produce a flash of lightning? Think you that what is carelessly looked upon by the uninitiated as a mere snow-flake does not suggest higher associations to one who has seen through a microscope the wondrously varied and elegant forms of snow-crystals? Think you that the rounded rock marked with parallel scratches calls up as much poetry in an ignorant mind as in the mind of a geologist, who knows that over this rock a glacier slid a million years ago? The truth is, that those who have never entered upon scientific pursuits know not a tithe of the poetry by which they are surrounded.

„Throughout all organic nature there is at work a modifying influence“

—  Herbert Spencer

The Development Hypothesis (1852)
Kontext: Throughout all organic nature there is at work a modifying influence of the kind... as the cause, these specific differences: an influence which, though slow in its action, does, in time, if the circumstances demand it, produce marked changes—an influence, which to all appearance, would produce in the millions of years, and under the great varieties of condition which geological records imply, any amount of change.

„We have a priori reasons for believing that in every sentence there is some one order of words more effective than any other“

—  Herbert Spencer

Pt. I, sec. 3, "The Principle of Economy Applied to Sentences"
The Philosophy of Style (1852)
Kontext: We have a priori reasons for believing that in every sentence there is some one order of words more effective than any other; and that this order is the one which presents the elements of the proposition in the succession in which they may be most readily put together.

„There can be little question that good composition is far less dependent upon acquaintance with its laws, than upon practice and natural aptitude.“

—  Herbert Spencer

Pt. I, sec. 1, "The Principle of Economy"
The Philosophy of Style (1852)
Kontext: There can be little question that good composition is far less dependent upon acquaintance with its laws, than upon practice and natural aptitude. A clear head, a quick imagination, and a sensitive ear, will go far towards making all rhetorical precepts needless.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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