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Herbert Spencer

Born in Derby, England, in 1820, Herbert Spencer was a British philosopher and sociologist, a major figure in the intellectual life of the Victorian era and the man who coined the phrase "survival of the fittest." In the mid-19th century, Spencer was among the foremost proponents of evolutionary theory and was regarded as highly as Charles Darwin. To his contemporaries, Spencer was best known for developing and applying evolutionary theory to philosophy, psychology and the study of society. Today, however, he is usually remembered in philosophical circles for his political thought, primarily for his defense of natural rights and for criticisms of utilitarian positivism, and his views have been invoked by libertarian thinkers.