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The Principles of Sociology in Three…
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The Principles of Sociology in Three Volumes, Volume III

by Herbert Spencer

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This volume contains the following sections:

Preface
Part VI. Ecclesiastical Institutions
Part VII. Professional Institutions
Part VIII. Industrial Institutions.
References
List of Works Referred To
Subject-Index

This is an amazingly good book. Note, however, that this volume -- the third of the work -- contains a duplicate of one section previously found in an earlier edition of Volume II. This is the result of the work not being complete, in one sense: several sections that had been planned were never executed. Spencer had, I believe, intended to include a section on language, a section on ethics (distinct from his "Principles of Ethics," mind you), and perhaps also a section on the arts. Spencer got old, and those works were never written.

What we have is an amazing treatise nonetheless. Of especial concern to many are some of Spencer's thoughts about socialism and trade unions, included at the end of the last section. Though controversial at the time, and anathema a generation later, Spencer's skepticism about the ideology of socialism, and about what unions could do without harming others, proved to be on target. ( )
  wirkman | Mar 31, 2007 |
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