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Progress, poverty, and population : re-reading Condorcet, Godwin, and Malthus

Author: John Avery; Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat Condorcet, marquis de; William Godwin; T R Malthus
Publisher: London ; Portland, OR : F. Cass, 1997.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Are poverty, misery, famine, disease and war inevitably part of the human condition? Will the creations of science become uncontrollable and socially dangerous, like Frankenstein's monster? Or can science and education create a world of material plenty - a war-free world, where the benevolent, creative and intellectual sides of human nature will have a chance to flourish?
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Named Person: Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat Condorcet, marquis de; William Godwin; T R Malthus; Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat Condorcet, marquis de; Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat Condorcet, marquis de; William Godwin; T R Malthus; Thomas Robert Malthus; Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat Condorcet, marquis de); William Godwin; Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat de Condorcet; William Godwin; Thomas Robert Malthus; Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat de Condorcet; William Godwin; Thomas Robert Malthus
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: John Avery; Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat Condorcet, marquis de; William Godwin; T R Malthus
ISBN: 0714647500 9780714647500 0714644048 9780714644042
OCLC Number: 37361729
Description: xvi, 151 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Responsibility: John Avery.
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Abstract:

Are poverty, misery, famine, disease and war inevitably part of the human condition? Will the creations of science become uncontrollable and socially dangerous, like Frankenstein's monster? Or can science and education create a world of material plenty - a war-free world, where the benevolent, creative and intellectual sides of human nature will have a chance to flourish?

This book tries to answer these questions by tracing the history of a debate which took place among the economists, political philosophers and writers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It was a debate in which the Utopian vision of optimists such as the Marquis de Condorcet and William Godwin was opposed by Thomas Robert Malthus and others, who believed that the benefits of scientific progress would inevitably be nullified by the growth of the global population.

This book follows that debate, which also involved people such as Burke, Paine, Wollstonecraft, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelley, Byron, Ricardo, Mill and Darwin. In the final chapter, the question of who was right is examined from the vantage-point of our own times, while particular attention is given to the close connection between population pressure and war.

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