Accessibility / Report Error

Ciência, evolução e educação em Herbert Spencer


The ideas of the English intellectual Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) encompassed different areas of knowledge and, in his time and beyond, influenced reformist political discourse all over the world, including topics such as the importance of science and its teaching in schools, opposition to State interference in individuals’ lives, optimism in relation to progress, selection through competence, and an evolutionary theory of societal development. Regarding education, he advocated the existence of a hierarchy of activities: 1) self-preservation, 2) those necessary for self-preservation, 3) discipline of children, 4) social procedures and political relationships, and 5) the rest of life (preferences and feelings). Grasping Spencer’s ideas promotes an understanding of the historical world from the end of the nineteenth century to the first decades of the twentieth century, and also enables reflection on issues of current importance.

Herbert Spencer; Science; Evolution; Education

Instituto de Estudos Avançados da Universidade de São Paulo Rua da Reitoria,109 - Cidade Universitária, 05508-900 São Paulo SP - Brasil, Tel: (55 11) 3091-1675/3091-1676, Fax: (55 11) 3091-4306 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil