from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The system of thought developed by Herbert Spencer, setting forth the idea that evolution is the passage from the simple, indefinite, and incoherent to the complex, definite, and coherent.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Spencerism has done nothing but to collate a vast amount of scientific evidence, from all branches of human knowledge, in support of these two abstract thoughts of Leibnitz and Hegel: "The present is the child of the past, but it is the parent of the future," and "Nothing is; everything is becoming."
As Edward Livingston Youmans, the founder of The Popular Science Monthly and Spencer's main American promoter, often observed, much of what was called Darwinism in the United States should actually be called Spencerism.
We don't speak of Social Spencerism, since that would be a transparent social philosophy open to challenge (which it was), but Social Darwinism.