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On Moral Education

Left and Right Journal cover

Tags EducationPhilosophy and Methodology

08/06/2014Herbert Spencer

Education is a perennially important and controversial subject, especially in a country as child-centered as the United States. Within libertarian ranks, an unlimited diversity of viewpoint prevails, ranging from rigorous traditionalists to ultra-progressives. Among the numerous Libertarians in the Los Angeles area, a controversy is now raging between the Cardin and Montessori methods of education. We believe that the views of Herbert Spencer, the great 19th century English social philosopher, can provide a much-needed but totally neglected contribution toward a rational solution to many of these disputes, a solution grounded on education in cause-and-effect.

This article is condensed from the chapter on "Moral Education" in Herbert Spencer's
Education: Intellectual, Moral and Physical (A. L. Burt Company, n.d.).


Volume 2, Number 2; Spring 1966



Herbert Spencer

Herbert Spencer was one of the leading 19th-century English radical individualists. He began working as a journalist for the laissez-faire magazine The Economist in the 1850s. Much of the rest of his life was spent working on an all-encompassing theory of human development based upon the ideas of individualism, utilitarian moral theory, social and biological evolution, limited government, and laissez-faire economics.

The image comes from "The Warren J. Samuels Portrait Collection at Duke University."

Cite This Article

Spencer, Herbert. "On Moral Education" Left and Right 2, No. 2 (Spring 1966): 73-84.