John Fiske

1842-1901. American philosopher, historian, and lecturer. A precocious child, he was graduated from Harvard and admitted to the bar without formal legal training. He turned, however, to propagating Herbert Spencer's evolutionary philosophy that had replaced the Calvinism of his youth. Claiming “Evolution is God's way of doing things,” he infused evolutionism with religious values in such works as Outline of Cosmic Philosophy (1874), The Destiny of Man (1884), The Idea of God (1885), and Through Nature to God (1899). In his last twenty years he turned more to the study of American history. Essentially a popularizer, he was nevertheless one of the most important intellectual influences in America at the end of the nineteenth century.