Malthus: Founder of Modern Demography

Εξώφυλλο
Transaction Publishers, 1979 - 302 σελίδες

Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834), one of the most influential of modern thinkers, is also one of the most misunderstood. Malthus' Essay on Population is a work that everyone cites but typically without having read it. This book offers a comprehensive and accurate exposition of his thought, integrating his better-known theory on population with his somewhat neglected analysis of economic development and social structure.

In Petersen's Malthus both the general reader and the social scientist are given a basis for contrasting Malthus with competing theories. As a background to his exposition, Petersen discusses the trends since Malthus' day in fertility, mortality, and population growth. The book also has an accessible comparison of Malthus' economics with that of his contemporary, David Ricardo, as well as the links to the Keynesian thought of recent time.

Petersen also comments on Malthus' stand on birth control, as well as on the rise of the neo-Malthusian movement and its successor in today's less developed countries. The review of both population trends and demographic theory over the past century and a half gives the reader a base from which he can judge in what respects Malthus did, or did not, forecast the future accurately. As Petersen points out, Malthus also influenced the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin, as well as its offshoot, Social Darwinism. Malthus is an essential work not only for demographers and economists but for anyone interested in intellectual history. The late Robert Nisbet, in his review of the book for the New Republic, called it "the best exposition of Malthus to be found anywhere."

William Petersen, Robert Lazarus Professor of Social Demography Emeritus at Ohio State University, is known throughout the profession as a leading demographer. He is also an elegant writer.

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Επιλεγμένες σελίδες

Περιεχόμενα

His Times
1
His Life and Work
21
The Principle of Population
38
Minor Quibbles and Gross Misunderstandings
58
Economic Theory
82
The Poor Law and Migration
100
Population Growth
135
Mortality
156
Fertility
180
The Malthusian Heritage
218
Notes
241
Works Cited
259
Index
291
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Δημοφιλή αποσπάσματα

Σελίδα 227 - Let us understand, once for all, that the ethical progress of society depends, not on imitating the cosmic process, still less in running away from it, but in combating it.
Σελίδα 219 - I happened to read for amusement ' Malthus on Population,' and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on from long-continued observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The result of this would be the formation of new species. Here then I had at last got a theory by which to work...
Σελίδα 8 - It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.
Σελίδα 56 - The sum of all these preventive and positive checks taken together forms the immediate check to population; and it is evident that in every country where the whole of the procreative power cannot be called into action, the preventive and the positive checks must vary inversely as each other; that is, in countries either naturally unhealthy or subject to a great mortality, from whatever cause it may arise, the preventive check will prevail very little. In those countries, on the contrary, which are...
Σελίδα 6 - Rousseau is probably best known to the world by the famous words in which he begins the first chapter of the " Social Contract " : " Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.
Σελίδα 40 - Every species of animals naturally multiplies in proportion to the means of their subsistence, and no species can ever multiply beyond it. But in civilized society, it is only among the inferior ranks of people that the scantiness of subsistence can set limits to the further multiplication of the human species ; and it can do so in no other way than by destroying a great part of the children which their fruitful marriages produce.
Σελίδα 120 - Hard as it may appear in individual instances, dependent poverty ought to be held disgraceful. Such a stimulus seems to be absolutely necessary to promote the happiness of the great mass of mankind ; and every general attempt to weaken this stimulus, however benevolent its apparent intention, will always defeat its own purpose.
Σελίδα 55 - In the next twenty-five years, it is impossible to suppose that the produce could be quadrupled. It would be contrary to all our knowledge of the properties of land.
Σελίδα 193 - If, above all, it were once clearly understood that it was not disreputable for married persons to avail themselves of such precautionary means as would, without being injurious to health, or destructive of female delicacy, prevent conception...
Σελίδα 189 - Pamela: Or. Virtue Rewarded. In a Series of Familiar Letters from a beautiful Young Damsel, to her Parents. Now first published in order to cultivate the Principles of Virtue and Religion in the Minds of the Youth of both Sexes.

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