Malthus's Essay looks at the perennial tendency of humans to outstrip their resources: reproduction always exceeds food production. Today Malthus remains a byword for concern about man's demographic and ecological prospects.
As the world's population continues to grow at a frighteningly rapid rate, Malthus's classic warning against overpopulation gains increasing importance. An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) examines the tendency of human numbers to outstrip their resources, and argues that checks in the form of poverty, disease, and starvation are necessary to keep societies from moving beyond their means of subsistence. Malthus's simple but powerful argument was controversial in his time; today his name has become a byword for active concern about humankind's demographic and ecological prospects.
The world’s population is now 7.4 billion people, placing ever greater demands on our natural resources. As we stand witness to a possible reversal of modernity’s positive trends, Malthus’s pessimism is worth full reconsideration. This Norton Critical Edition includes: · An introduction and explanatory annotations by Joyce E. Chaplin. · Malthus’s Essay in its first published version (1798) along with selections from the expanded version (1803), which he considered definitive, as well as his Appendix (1806). · An unusually rich selection of supporting materials thematically arranged to promote classroom discussion. Topics include “Influences on Malthus,” “Economics, Population, and Ethics after Malthus,” “Malthus and Global Challenges,” and “Malthusianism in Fiction.” · A Chronology and a Selected Bibliography.
Malthus' life's work on human population and its dependency on food production and the environment was highly controversial on publication in 1798. He predicted what is known as the Malthusian catastrophe, in which humans would disregard the limits of natural resources and the world would be plagued by famine and disease. He significantly influenced the thinking of Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace and his theories continue to raise important questions today in the fields of social theory, economics and the environment. With an introduction by Robert Mayhew.
Release on 1992-08-28 | by T. R. Malthus,Donald Winch,Patricia James
Author: T. R. Malthus,Donald Winch,Patricia James
Pubpsher: Cambridge University Press
This book provides a student audience with the best scholarly edition of Malthus' Essay on Population. Written in 1798 as a polite attack on post-French revolutionary speculations on the theme of social and human perfectibility, it remains one of the most powerful statements of the limits to human hopes set by the tension between population growth and natural resources. Based on the authoritative variorum edition of the versions of the Essay published between 1803 and 1826, and complete with full introduction and bibliographic apparatus, this new edition is intended to show how Malthusianism impinges on the history of political thought.
Around 1796, Mr. Malthus, an English gentleman, had finished reading a book that confidently predicted human life would continue to grow richer, more comfortable and more secure, and that nothing could stop the march of progress. He discussed this theme with his son, Thomas, and Thomas ardently disagreed with both his father and the book he had been reading, along with the entire idea of unending human progress. Mr. Malthus suggested that he write down his objections so that they could discuss them point-by-point. Not long after, Thomas returned with a rather long essay. His father was so impressed that he urged his son to have it published. And so, in 1798, appeared An Essay on Population. Though it was attacked at the time and ridiculed for many years afterward, it has remained one of the most influential works in the English language on the general checks and balances of the world's population and its necessary control. Originally two volumes, it is presented here in an omnibus edition. THOMAS ROBERT MALTHUS (1766-1834) was educated at Jesus College in Cambridge. In 1798, he was curate at Albury in Surrey, and became a Professor of History and Political Economy at Haileybury College, 1805.