ESSAI SUR LE PRINCIPE DE POPULATION, Ou Expose Des Effets Passes et Presens de L’Action de Cette ...

ESSAI SUR LE PRINCIPE DE POPULATION, Ou Expose Des Effets Passes et Presens de L’Action de Cette Cause Sur le Bonheur du Genre Humain; Suivi de Quelques Recherches Relatives a L’esperance de Guerir ou D’adoucir les Maux Qu’elle Entraine

Malthus T[homas] R[obert]

Published by Paris and Geneva Chez J.J. Paschoud 1809, 1809
From Buddenbrooks, Inc. (Newburyport, MA, U.S.A.)

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3 volumes. First edition in French. 8vo, contemporary half calf and speckled boards, spines with gilt ruled bands, red morocco title label and green morocco volume label, lettered in gilt. xxiii, 424, [3], ad; 395, [3]; 392. A very fine and handsome set, clean and sturdy in absolutely period state. The first French edition of Malthus’ landmark work. The translation from the English is by Pierre Prevost, probably from the third English edition which was corrected and expanded by Malthus. French editions of Malthus are uncommon and this set is in exceptional condition in its original and contemporary state. Originally written in response to a discussion with the author's father on the perfectibility of society, the book was reprinted several times with many alterations and additions as Malthus defended his views against a host of critics. "The central idea of the essay--and the hub of Malthusian theory--was a simple one. The population of a community, Malthus suggested, increases geometrically, while food supplies increase only arithmetically. If the natural increase in population occurs the food supply becomes insufficient and the size of the population is checked by 'misery'--that is, the poorest sections of the community suffer disease and famine. Malthus recognized two other possible checks to population expansion: first 'vice'--that is, homosexuality, prostitution, and abortion (all totally unacceptable to Malthus); and second 'moral restraint'--the voluntary limitation of the production of children by the postponement of marriage. This was the solution to the population problem that Malthus advocated. The 'Essay' was highly influential in the progress of thought in early nineteenth-century Europe" (PMM). Marx, Engels, Paley, Darwin, Wallace, Keynes, and Ricardo were all influenced by Malthus--either working off his ideas or reacting against them. Bookseller Inventory # 12840

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Paris and Geneva Chez J.J. Paschoud 1809

Publication Date: 1809

Binding: Hardcover

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