An Autobiography: Herbert Spencer - Vol. 2

By Herbert Spencer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER LII.
CEREMONIAL INSTITUTIONS. 1879. ÆT. 59.

As the articles named in the last chapter but one were all nearly completed, though not all published, before The Data of Ethics was seriously commenced, why was not the volume on Ceremonial Institutions, constituted by these articles, published first? Was I so anxious to write The Data of Ethics that I could not even delay to pass Ceremonial Institutions through the press? These questions at first puzzled me; and it was only after some consideration that I saw what had happened.

At the time when I made the resolve to write The Data of Ethics forthwith, lest it should never be written at all, my intention was to publish the second volume of The Principles of Sociology as a whole, according to programme. As the chapters dealing with Ceremonial Institutions formed but the first division of it, they were consequently laid aside until the other divisions should be written. On returning to the subject, however, I reflected that as the volume was to contain five divisions, treating respectively of Ceremonial, Political, Ecclesiastical, Professional, and Industrial Institutions, it would be very bulky, and would be a long time in hand-- certainly several years. Hence there arose the thought-- Why not publish each division separately? Though or-

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