photograph: Herbert Spencer

Herbert Spencer

Portrait from Wikipedia: Herbert Spencer

This is an electronic transcription of The Data of Ethics by Herbert Spencer, which was first published in 1879.

The transcription is currently incomplete. We have put it online in the hopes that what is available of the work in progress will be useful. More of the material should be forthcoming in the near future.


  1. Preface
  2. Chapter I. Conduct in General
  3. Chapter II. The Evolution of Conduct
  4. Chapter III. Good and Bad Conduct
  5. Chapter IV. Ways of Judging Conduct
  6. Chapter V. The Physical View
  7. Chapter VI. The Biological View
  8. Chapter VII. The Biological View
  9. Chapter VIII. The Sociological View
  10. Chapter IX. The Sociological View
  11. Chapter X. The Relativity of Pains and Pleasures
  12. Chapter XI. Egoism versus Altruism
  13. Chapter XII. Egoism versus Altruism
  14. Chapter XIII. Trial and Compromise
  15. Chapter XIV. Conciliation
  16. Chapter XV. Absolute Ethics and Relative Ethics
  17. Chapter XVI. The Scope of Ethics