Fortunately, in most cases it is possible to requicken the spark of genius innate to the new child.
Book review — An Essay on the Principle of Population: Is there another topic more likely to bring about an uncomfortable silence during a dinner party? Possibly one of the last taboos even of our era, one name is intimately linked with this topic: Originally published inYale University Press here republishes the second edition ofwhich is much expanded.
As a bonus, they throw in five essays to place this work in context and discuss its relevance today. Why would you read a book that is over years old?
For the same reason evolutionary biologists still read On the Origin of Species — you cannot really properly discuss, let alone criticise a subject without reading its foundational text, now, can you? Stimsonpublished by Yale University Press in March paperback, pages Not a facsimile reproduction, this reissue features a few typographical updates and some minor corrections, but by and large stays true to the original.
It is not the first reissue, nor the most comprehensive. The differences between the and edition were enormous, between subsequent editions not so much.
As with any topic, I am always mildly shocked to see the vast body of scholarship on it, and two other recent books that are worth reading in this context are Malthus: Rereading the Principle of Population.
Briefly, Malthus argued that human population growth is naturally inclined to ovetake and outstrip our ability to produce enough food. The inevitable consequences will be misery in the form of malnourishment, famines, and increased mortality, especially among the poorer classes of society.
His ideas caused an uproar when published in and have remained hugely influential ever since, impacting such luminaries as Charles Darwin and modern authors such as Paul Ehrlich who wrote The Population Bomb.
A large part of his work consists of convincing the reader of the need of exercising moral restraint as the more humane option to keep population growth in check remember, this was a time when contraception barely existed, and marriage was generally the necessary precursor to having lots of children.
The first edition was based mostly on conjecture and arguments from first principles.
Based on critique, he much expanded the second edition, adding two whole sections books 1 and 2 based on extensive reading of literature and his own travels around parts of Europe.
Here, he surveys checks to population in both the developing world and the Ancient world amongst the Greeks and Romansas well as the developed world.
Part of what landed Malthus in hot water was his opposition to the English Poor Laws that were operational at the time. This was a social benefit system for poor people with large families.
He argued that this only exacerbated the problem of overpopulation. After all, why bother to carefully consider whether or not to have children and whether you can support them?
Heck, why even stick around in a marriage that no longer contends you when the state will provide when you abandon your wife and children? Of course, his views also ran counter to Christian doctrine to go forth and people the Earth — ironic, given that Malthus was himself part of the clergy of the Church of England.
Rather than relying on benefits, it was in the hands of the poor to improve their livelihood. Those unwilling to provide for themselves and their family had no right to demand benefits, whether monetary or otherwise, and Malthus strongly argued for the abolishment of the Poor Laws. Much ink has been spilled in the subsequent two centuries to point out some of his errors.
He got certain facts flat out wrong, and his expansion of the essay with a body of supporting material after publication runs the risk of cherry-picking data.
It seems he ignored certain findings inconsistent with his claims. And, of course, he did not, and could not possibly, foresee how technological and scientific developments improved both our agricultural yields e.
It is important to place this work in the context of its time. And that is where the introduction and the essays are invaluable, providing much-needed context, explaining the state of the world at the time, as well as the other key players and writings that Malthus was responding to.
The attitudes of that time colour this work. And, as was usual, the writing can be rather long-winded and narrative in style, with complex sentences running many lines, full of subclauses.See in your mind's eye a B bomber aircraft, called the "Enola Gay," flying to its hellish appointment, that horror-stricken summer's day in 4 Why did the United States government drop the only two nuclear-fission weapons in its arsenal upon those two virtually defenseless population-centers in Japan?
The U.S. government lied when it .
Supporters of the Iraqi "Resistance": The Volokh post asking for names of respectable people who support the Iraqi resistance (that is, support the totalitarian terrorists trying to destroy Iraqi democracy) has, so far, yielded an apt .
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..
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Critique of "Unmasking the Population Bomber" of which bring up an important aspect of women?s role in the population control debate. All are relevant to the study of gender in developing nations for reasons that will be indicated.
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