Thomas Malthus, fully Thomas Robert Malthus

Malthus, fully Thomas Robert Malthus

English Scholar, Economist, Scientist and Political Philosopher

Author Quotes

A writer may tell me that he thinks man will ultimately become an ostrich. I cannot properly contradict him.

The love of independence is a sentiment that surely none would wish to see erased from the breast of man, though the parish law of England, it must be confessed, is a system of all others the most calculated gradually to weaken this sentiment, and in the end may eradicate it completely.

The speculative philosopher offends against the cause of truth.

Whether the law of marriage be instituted or not, the dictate of nature and virtue seems to be an early attachment to one woman.

The lower classes of people in Europe may at some future period be much better instructed then they are at present; they may be taught to employ the little spare time they have in many better ways than at the ale-house; they may live under better and more equal laws than they have hitherto done, perhaps, in any country; and I even conceive it possible, though not probable, that they may have more leisure; but it is not in the nature of things, that they can be awarded such a quantity of money or substance, as will allow them all to marry early, in the full confidence that they shall be able to provide with ease for a numerous family.

The superior power of population cannot be checked without producing misery or vice.

With regard to the duration of human life, there does not appear to have existed from the earliest ages of the world to the present moment the smallest permanent symptom or indication of increasing prolongation.

The main peculiarity which distinguishes man from other animals is the means of his support-the power which he possesses of very greatly increasing these means.

The tendency to a virtuous attachment is so strong that there is a constant effort towards an increase of population.

The moon is not kept in her orbit round the earth, nor the earth in her orbit round the sun, by a force that varies merely in the inverse ratio of the squares of the distances.

The transfer of three shillings and sixpence a day to every laborer would not increase the quantity of meat in the country. There is not at present enough for all to have a decent share. What would then be the consequence?

The most successful supporters of tyranny are without doubt those general declaimers who attribute the distresses of the poor, and almost all evils to which society is subject, to human institutions and the iniquity of governments.

There is scarcely any inquiry more curious, or, from its importance, more worthy of attention, than that which traces the causes which practically check the progress of wealth in different countries, and stop it, or make it proceed very slowly, while the power of production remains comparatively undiminished, or at least would furnish the means of a great and abundant increase of produce and population.

The ordeal of virtue is to resist all temptation to evil.

Thirty or forty proprietors, with incomes answering to between one thousand and five thousand a year, would create a much more effectual demand for the necessaries, conveniences, and luxuries of life, than a single proprietor possessing a hundred thousand a year.

The passion between the sexes has appeared in every age to be so nearly the same, that it may always be considered, in algebraic language as a given quantity.

Though I may not be able to in the present instance to mark the limit at which further improvement will stop, I can very easily mention a point at which it will not arrive.

The passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain nearly in its present state.

Through the animal and vegetable kingdoms, nature has scattered the seeds of life abroad with the most profuse and liberal hand.

The perpetual tendency of the race of man to increase beyond the means of subsistence is one of the general laws of animated nature, which we can have no reason to expect to change.

To estimate the value of Newton's discoveries, or the delight communicated by Shakespeare and Milton, by the price at which their works have sold, would be but a poor measure of the degree in which they have elevated and enchanted their country; nor would it be less grovelling and incongruous to estimate the benefit which the country has derived from the Revolution of 1688, by the pay of the soldiers, and all other payments concerned in effecting it.

The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.

To minds of a certain cast there is nothing so captivating as simplification and generalization.

The power of population is so superior to the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race.

To prevent the recurrence of misery is, alas! beyond the power of man.

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Malthus, fully Thomas Robert Malthus
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English Scholar, Economist, Scientist and Political Philosopher