An Essay on the Principle of Population (1st Edition) (Malthus ? An Essay on Population)

Malthus, Thomas

Published by Thoemmes Continuum, 1999
ISBN 10: 1855067811 / ISBN 13: 9781855067813
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Synopsis: An Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) is one of the most influential and controversial books in the history of social and economic thought. First published anonymously in 1798, and the result of a discussion with his father on the perfectibility of society, it was originally intended as a response to ideas developed in Godwin's Enquirer and Political Justice. The essay is based around Malthus's famous principle of population: that as population increases geometrically, pressure is placed on the earth's agricultural resources, which can only increase at an arithmetic rate; hence Malthus's prediction of mass starvation. His argument further maintained that population is prevented from increasing beyond the food supply by positive (war, famine and pestilence) and preventive (abortions, infanticides and birth control) checks. The principle was and remains one of the most widely debated of modern economic theories.

These volumes reveal all the major and minor changes Malthus made in the Essay in the twenty-eight years that separate the appearance of the first and sixth editions. Considered cumulatively, these reworkings show the progression and modification of Malthus's thinking in the light of the hostile criticism and lively debate it provoked.

The impact of Malthus's book was tremendously far-reaching. Darwin and Wallace acknowledged Malthus as the source of the idea of 'the struggle for existence'; Marx, Engels, Paley, Darwin, Wallace, Keynes and Ricardo were all influenced by Malthus. No other book in the history of economic thought has caused as heated and lasting a debate as the Essay. These editions are an indispensible resource for scholars of social, economic and political theory.

Published anonymously, the scope of the first edition of the Essay was primarily to attack the writings of Godwin and Condorcet. Malthus outlines his famous principal, 'Malthus's law', that population increases at a greater rate than the means of subsistence. This principle was, and still is, one of the most widely debated of economic theories. The work was greeted with considerable excitement and great controversy.

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Title: An Essay on the Principle of Population (1st...
Publisher: Thoemmes Continuum
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Good

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