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Malthus, ThomasRobert

Malthus, ThomasRobert (1766–1834)An English mathematician and economist, who took holy orders in 1788 and was appointed in 1805 to the first professorship of political economy in Britain, at Haileybury College, founded by the East India Company, a position he occupied until his death. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the French Institute and Berlin Royal Academy. He is best remembered for An Essay on the Principle of Population, as it affects the future improvement of society, written to refute the ideas on social and economic reform of William Godwin, the Marquis de Condorcet, and others, first published anonymously in 1798, with a much revised second edition in 1803 and a summary in 1830. Malthus maintained that human populations have the capacity to increase more rapidly than resources can be mobilized to sustain them, and their reproductive capacity is constrained by disease, hunger, and other forms of suffering produced by poverty. Attempts to alleviate poverty, therefore, can lead only to additional births and further suffering. See Malthusianism.

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