Definitions for thomas robert malthus

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. Malthus, Thomas Malthus, Thomas Robert Malthus(noun)

    an English economist who argued that increases in population would outgrow increases in the means of subsistence (1766-1834)

Freebase

  1. Thomas Robert Malthus

    The Reverend Robert Malthus FRS was a British cleric and scholar, influential in the fields of political economy and demography. Malthus himself used only his middle name Robert. He popularised the theory of economic rent. Malthus became widely known for his theories about change in population. His An Essay on the Principle of Population observed that sooner or later population will be checked by famine and disease. He wrote in opposition to the popular view in 18th-century Europe that saw society as improving and in principle as perfectible. He thought that the dangers of population growth precluded progress towards a utopian society: "The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man". As a cleric, Malthus saw this situation as divinely imposed to teach virtuous behaviour. Malthus wrote: That population does invariably increase when the means of subsistence increase, and, Malthus placed the longer-term stability of the economy above short-term expediency. He criticised the Poor Laws, and supported the Corn Laws, which introduced a system of taxes on British imports of wheat. His views became influential, and controversial, across economic, political, social and scientific thought. Pioneers of evolutionary biology read him, notably Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. He remains a much-debated writer.

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