First Principles

by Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)


Preface to the Second Edition (1867)



When the First Edition of this work was published, I supposed that the general theory set forth in its Second Part was presented in something like a finished form; but subsequent thought led me to further developments of much importance, and disclosed the fact that the component parts of the theory had been wrongly put together. Even in the absence of a more special reason, I had decided that, on the completion of the Principles of Biology, it would be proper to suspend for a few months the series I am issuing, that I might make the required reorganization. And when the time had arrived, there had arisen a more special reason, which forbade hesitation. Translations into the French and Russian languages were about to be made had, in fact, been commenced; and had I deferred the reorganization the work would have been reproduced with all its original imperfections. This will be a sufficient explanation to those who have complained of the delay in the issue of the Principles of Psychology.

The First Part remains almost untouched: two verbal alterations only, on pp. 43 and 99, having been made to prevent misconceptions. Part II., however, is wholly transformed. Its first chapter, on Laws in General, is omitted, with a view to the inclusion of it in one of the later volumes of the series. Two minor chapters disappear. Most of the rest are transposed, in groups or singly. And there are nine new chapters embodying the further developments, and serving to combine the pre-existing chapters into a changed whole. The following scheme, in which the new chapters are marked by italics, will give an idea of the transformation:



FIRST EDITIONSECOND EDITION
Laws in General.Philosophy Defined.
The Law of Evolution.The Data of Philosophy.
The Law of Evolution (continued).
The Causes of Evolution.
Space, Time, Matter, Motion, and Force.Space, Time, Matter, Motion, and Force.
The Indestructibility of Matter.The Indestructibility of Matter.
The Continuity of Motion.The Continuity of Motion.
The Persistence of Force.The Persistence of Force.
The Persistence of Relations Among Forces.
The Correlation and Equivalence of Forces.The Transformation and Equivalence of Forces.
The Direction of Motion.The Direction of Motion.
The Rhythm of Motion.The Rhythm of Motion.
Recapitulation, Criticism, and Recommencement.
The Conditions essential to Evolution.Evolution and Dissolution.
Simple and Compound Evolution.
The Law of Evolution. Re-arranged
The Law of Evolution (continued).} with
The Law of Evolution (continued). additions.
The Law of Evolution concluded.
The Interpretation of Evolution.
The Instability of the Homogeneous.The Instability of the Homogeneous.
The Multiplication of Effects.The Multiplication of Effects.
Differentiation and Integration.Segregation.
Equilibration.Equilibration.
Dissolution.
Summary and Conclusion.Summary and Conclusion (Rewritten).

Of course throughout this reorganized Second Part the numbers of the sections have been changed, and hence those who possess the Principles of Biology, in which ,any references are made to passages in First Principles, would be inconvenienced by the want of correspondence between the numbers of the sections in the original edition and in the new addition, were they without any means of identifying the sections as now numbered. The annexed list, showing which section answers to which in the two editions, will meet the requirement:

FirstSecond
Edit.Edit.
43119
44117
45118
46120
47121
48122
49123
50124
51125
52126
53128
54129
55130-137
56107-115
6146
6247
6348
6449
6550
6652
6753
6854
6955
7056
7157
7258
7359
7460
7561
7662
7766
7867
7968
8069
8170
8271
8372
8473
8574
8675
8776
8877
8978
9079
9180
9281
9382
9483
9584
9685
9786
9887
9988
109149
110150
111151
112152
113153
114154
115155
116156
117157
118158
119159
120160
121161
122162
123163
124164
125165
126166
127167
128168
129169
130170
131171
132172
133173
134174
135175
136176
137177, 183
144193
145194

The original stereotype plates have been used wherever it was possible: and hence the exact correspondence between the two editions in many places, even where adjacent pages are altered.

London, November, 1867.




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