Men versus the state: Herbert Spencer and late Victorian individualism

New York: Oxford University Press (1992)
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Abstract

A study of the political philosophy of Herbert Spencer, this book examines the thought of the man considered by many to be the greatest philosopher of Victorian Britain, and the ideas of the Individualists, a group of political thinkers inspired by him to uphold the policy of laissez-faire during the 1880s and 1890s. Despite their important contribution to nineteenth-century political debate, these thinkers have been neglected by historians, who Taylor argues have concentrated instead on the advocates of an enhanced role for government in economic and social affairs. Offering the first comprehensive view of free-market conservatism in an historical context, Taylor provides an original perspective on Spencer's political philosophy as well as the nature of late Victorian political argument in general.

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