An Autobiography: Herbert Spencer - Vol. 2

By Herbert Spencer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XLI.
AN IMPRUDENCE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. 1867. ÆT. 47.

UP to this time I had not felt the need for any assistance beyond that yielded by an ordinary amanuensis. Such materials as were stored up in memory, joined with such further materials as were accessible without much labour, served me while writing First Principles.

Though for writing The Principles of Biology there was required a far larger amount of information than I possessed, the result proved that I did not miscalculate in believing that I should be able to furnish myself with such detailed facts as were requisite for the setting forth of general conceptions. Nor did The Principles of Psychology, partly executed and now to be completed, cause me to seek external aid. The data for the subjective part, which was dealt with after a manner unlike that commonly adopted, were lying ready internally; and the views taken of the objective part were so little akin to those of preceding psychologists, that no extensive study of their writings was necessary. But I had long been conscious that when I came to treat of Sociology, the case would be widely different. There would be required an immense accumulation of facts so classified and arranged as to facilitate generalization. I saw, too, that it would be impossible for me to get through the amount

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