Abstract: A virtually unknown philosopher of the twentieth century, Spencer Heath (1876-1963) was nevertheless well-known as a pioneer in the early development of commercial aviation. He retired from business in 1931 to devote the last thirty years of his life to his long-time interest in the philosophy of science and human social organization. He developed a comprehensive philosophy of creative capitalism and outlined an authentic natural science of society (a society that would be capable of generating dependable technology). In his philosophy Heath correlated three fields: the natural sciences with their uniform laws; the established uniform practices, productive and creative, that constitute the business system; and the realm of non-necessitous activities pursued for their sake alone, which he called the spiritual life. In the societal field, he drew on examples from the natural sciences, from history (seen as growth of social relationships) and from all but the political or criminal in current affairs. In so doing, he emphasized the customary modes of action, self-enacting and self-enforcing, wherein each man benefits others as they benefit him and civilization progresses as a result. Aesthetic and religious experience he saw as alike in their social function of lifting the individual out of his mundane existence and inspiring him to discover and utilize his creative potential. He regarded this inspiration as the psychological prerequisite for discovery, most especially discovery in the nascent science of society. Heath found important correspondences between the beauty of voluntary human social institutions and Judeo-Christian teachings. In this tradition he discovered a rich language of discourse for conveying the beauty he saw in evolving society, thereby counteracting the poor image capitalism has received at the hands of collectivists.
Keywords: Spencer Heath, capitalism, Christianity, natural science, science of society, social organization
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