“The constancy of the laws of nature, or the certainty with which we may expect the same effects from the same causes, is the foundation of the faculty of reason”: Rare Second Edition of Malthus' An Essay on the Principle of Population

  • An Essay on the Principle of Population; or, A View of its Past and Present Effects on Human Happiness; with an Inquiry into our Prospects Respecting the Future Removal or Mitigation of the Evils which it Occassions.

An Essay on the Principle of Population; or, A View of its Past and Present Effects on Human Happiness; with an Inquiry into our Prospects Respecting the Future Removal or Mitigation of the Evils which it Occassions.

$7,200.00

Item Number: 22022

London: J. Johnson by J. Bensley, 1803.

Second edition of this cornerstone text of modern economics. Quarto, bound in period-style three-quarter speckled calf, red morocco spine label, marbled boards, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, marbled endpapers. In fine condition. An exceptional example.

This 1803 edition, the first with Malthus name, was four times larger than the first: "practically a new book" (Osler 1297). “Malthus was one of the founders of modern economics. His Essay was originally the product of a discussion on the perfectibility of society with his father, [who] urged him to publish. Thus the first edition (published anonymously) was essentially a fighting tract, but later editions were considerably altered and grew bulkier as Malthus defended his views against a host of critics… The Essay was highly influential in the progress of thought in early 19th-century Europe [and] his influence on social policy was considerable… Both Darwin and Wallace clearly acknowledged Malthus as a source of the idea of ‘the struggle for existence” (PMM 251).

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