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An Essay on the Principle of Population

An Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas R. Malthus
By: (1766-1834)

The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man. Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will show the immensity of the first power in comparison with the second (Malthus).

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An Essay on the Principle of Population

Thomas Malthus

1798

AN ESSAY ON THE PRINCIPLE OF POPULATION, AS IT AFFECTS THE FUTURE IMPROVEMENT OF SOCIETY WITH REMARKS ON THE SPECULATIONS OF MR. GODWIN, M. CONDORCET, AND OTHER WRITERS.

LONDON, PRINTED FOR J. JOHNSON, IN ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD, 1798.

Preface

The following Essay owes its origin to a conversation with a friend, on the subject of Mr Godwin's essay on avarice and profusion, in his Enquirer. The discussion started the general question of the future improvement of society, and the Author at first sat down with an intention of merely stating his thoughts to his friend, upon paper, in a clearer manner than he thought he could do in conversation. But as the subject opened upon him, some ideas occurred, which he did not recollect to have met with before; and as he conceived that every least light, on a topic so generally interesting, might be received with candour, he determined to put his thoughts in a form for publication.

The Essay might, undoubtedly, have been rendered much more complete by a collection of a greater number of facts in elucidation of the general argument... Continue reading book >>


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