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Human Ecology

The paper is an attempt to apply a type of analysis previously applied to the interrelations of plants and animals to the interrelations of human beings.

Park, R. E. 1936. Human Ecology. American Journal of Sociology 42(1): 1-15

Journal Article
Year: 1936

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.

This essay by Malthus started the 'population-environment' debate. Malthus' general argument is that the "power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man." He argues that growth of population if remains unchecked, it increases geometricaly while subsistence only increases arithmeticaly, and that to keep the two powers in balance, there is a a strong and constantly operating check on population - misery and vice. According to Malthus, the 'perfectability of man and society' as proposed by other writers, is improbable and therefore the negative check is likely.

Malthus, T. 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. Printed for J. Johnson, in St. Paul's Church-Yard, London.

Online Publication
Year: 1798

Pages