An Essay On The Principle Of Population Text

An Essay On The Principle Of Population Text-15
This point seems to have been put against Malthus for the first time by Nassau Senior in his Two Lectures on Population (1831) and was grudgingly accepted. It was developed in the following year by Archbishop Whateley in Lectures on Political Economy (ninth lecture). Facsimile edition (London, 1926); paperback edition with introduction by K. Boulding (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1959).

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(The subsistence of checks could, of course, be inferred without recourse to this misleadingly arithmetized supposition, by referring directly to the fact that no human population ever does achieve its full multiplicative potential.) The questions then arise. This is defined as "the restraint from marriage which is not followed by irregular gratifications." Malthus seems never to have entertained the possibility of restraint within marriage; and he categorically rejected any form of contraception, even within wedlock, as vice.

This scheme of ideas constituted an intellectual engine that was immensely powerful both for its primary purpose of confounding utopian optimism and for its secondary function of guiding social inquiry.

" Malthus's work on population is contained in two books, misleadingly presented as if they were merely different editions of one. The second, best thought of as the Second Essay, was, with some reserve, offered by Malthus as a much extended second edition.

The first, best referred to as the First Essay, is actually titled An Essay on the Principle of Population as It Affects the Future Improvement of Society, with Remarks on the Speculations of Mr. But it was retitled An Essay on the Principle of Population, or a View of Its Past and Present Effects on Human Happiness with an Inquiry into Our Prospects Respecting the Future Removal or Mitigation of the Evils Which It Occasions.

These are similarities of which Malthus himselfseems to have been aware.

An Essay On The Principle Of Population Text

(It is doubtless to the same training that we owe his introduction of the supposition of the arithmetical progression to which, and to the consequent comparison of the two progressions, is due much of the appearance of "mathematical certainty" in his demonstrations.) Malthus never tied up all the various minor logical loose ends in his original conceptual scheme, although he added important appendices to the third and fifth editions of his work in 18 and wrote the article "Population" for the 1824 supplement to the Encyclopaedia Britannica (revised and published separately as his last word in 1830).

To quote Keynes again, his work is really in "the tradition which is suggested by the names of Locke, Hume, Adam Smith, Paley, Bentham, Darwin and Mill, a tradition marked and by an immense disinterestedness and public spirit." As against, say, Condorcet, who wrote of inevitable progress while under the shadow of the guillotine, Malthus was concerned first with finding what the facts are and then with discovering how, in the light of those perhaps recalcitrant facts, we are to do the best we can.

It is no accident that in the first chapter of the First Essay he acknowledges a debt to David Hume and Adam Smith but not to the impossible and visionary Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whom his father had known and admired.

The First Essay is an occasional polemic against utopianism; the Second, a labored treatise full of detailed factual material.

What they have in common is the same guiding and coordinating theoretical schema, although even this is in one respect importantly amended in the later book. Revolution, Economics, and Religion: Christian Political Economy, 17981833.


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