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Missive #40

This 3-volume book features a comprehensive collection of most significant scientific, political and speculative essays by Herbert Spencer. The first volume is made up of essays in which the idea of evolution, general or special is dominant. I didn’t find a Book Review for Volume One, which I was able to find as a book of its own, so have shown the table of contents to give an idea of what the book is about. It is a difficult read with run on sentences, late 19th century British English written by a ‘intellectual’. About half of the chosen essays are written in defense of previous publications. I suggest that you read The Complicated Legacy of Herbert Spencer, the Man Who Coined ‘Survival of the Fittest’ before starting to read this book. In the second volume essays dealing with philosophical questions, with abstract and concrete science, and with aesthetics, are brought together; but though all of them are tacitly evolutionary, their evolutionism is an incidental rather than a necessary trait. The ethical, political, and social essays composing the third volume, though mostly written from the evolution point of view, have for their more immediate purposes the enunciation of doctrines which are directly practical in their bearing.

Volume One

  • The Development Hypothesis
  • Progress: Its Law and Cause
  • Transcendental Physiology
  • The Nebular Hypothesis
  • Illogical Geology
  • Bain on the Emotions and the Will
  • The Social Organism
  • The Origin of Animal Worship
  • Morals and Moral Sentiments
  • The Comparative Psychology of Man
  • Mr. Martineau on Evolution
  • The Factors of Organic Evolution

This was great PR and may keep all of president Biden’s problems off the front page for one Media Cycle. However, I read it as the beginning of the end for Zelensky.

If Biden told him how much he supported him then Zelensky is in big trouble. If he told him that he had made all the arrangements for Zelensky’s retirement that may be even bigger trouble. Whatever Biden told him it was most likely a lie.

This blog posting Recognizing The War Is Lost The ‘West’ Seeks An Exit provides a good description of the situation in Ukraine. A recommended read.

President Joe Biden slipped into Kyiv on Monday for the first time since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine almost a year ago, demonstrating in dramatic personal fashion his commitment to the country and its struggle as the war enters an uncertain new phase. — Biden makes surprise visit to Ukraine for first time since full-scale war began, by Kevin Liptak

2 thoughts on “Missive #40”

    1. I think you are right, Britannica says that his father, William George Spencer, was a schoolmaster which may have provided him with some home schooling. But for the most part he was self taught through his reading.
      You are also right about the academic cant; however his writing is not an easy read.

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