Thomas Malthus, fully Thomas Robert Malthus

Malthus, fully Thomas Robert Malthus

English Scholar, Economist, Scientist and Political Philosopher

Author Quotes

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.

The prodigious waste of human life occasioned by this perpetual struggle for room and food, was more than supplied by the mighty power of population, acting, in some degree, unshackled, from the constant habit of emigration.

To remedy the frequent distresses of the common people, the poor laws of England have been instituted; but it is to be feared that though they may have alleviated a little the intensity of individual misfortune, they have spread the general evil over a much larger surface.

Few persons will leave their families, connections, friends, and native land, to seek a settlement in untried foreign climes, without some strong subsisting causes of uneasiness where they are, or the hope of some great advantages in the place to which they are going.

In no state that we have yet known has the power of population been left to exert itself with perfect freedom.

Not many years had elapsed after the first edition of this work, when it became known to all with whom Mr. Malthus had the opportunity of communicating on the subject, or who were acquainted with his last publications, that his opinions on the subject of value had undergone some change.

The greatest talents have been frequently misapplied and have produced evil proportionate to the extent of their powers. Both reason and revelation seem to assure us that such minds will be condemned to eternal death, but while on earth, these vicious instruments performed their part in the great mass of impressions, by the disgust and abhorrence which they excited.

Had population and food increased in the same ratio, it is probable that man might never have emerged from the savage state.

In prosperous times the mercantile classes often realize fortunes, which go far towards securing them against the future; but unfortunately the working classes, though they share in the general prosperity, do not share in it so largely as in the general adversity.

On the whole it may be observed, that the specific use of a body of unproductive consumers, is to give encouragement to wealth by maintaining such a balance between produce and consumption as will give the greatest exchangeable value to the results of the national industry.

The histories of mankind that we possess are histories only of the higher classes.

Hard as it may appear in individual cases, dependent poverty ought to be held disgraceful

It accords with the most liberal spirit of philosophy to suppose that not a stone can fall, or a plant rise, without the immediate agency of divine power.

Population, when unchecked, goes on doubling itself every 25 years or increases in a geometrical ratio.

The immediate cause of the increase of population is the excess of the births above deaths; and the rate of increase, or the period of doubling, depends upon the proportion which the excess of the births above the deaths bears to the population.

I cannot doubt the talents of such men as Godwin and Condorcet. I am unwilling to doubt their candor.

It cannot be true, therefore, that among animals some of the offspring will possess the desirable qualities of the parents in greater degree, or that animals are indefinitely perfectible.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Malthus, fully Thomas Robert Malthus
Birth Date
Death Date

English Scholar, Economist, Scientist and Political Philosopher