Critical Examination Of Malthusian Theory Of Population

1292 words - 5 pages

Thomas Robert Malthus, very popularly known as Malthus, was a professor of History and Political Economy at Haileybury College of the East Indian Company. He was a philosopher of 19th century. He lived his life from 1766 to 1834 AD. After writing an essay on the Principle of Population in 1805 AD, he became popular in the history of population studies. In his essay which later on became a very famous theory by the name "Malthusian Theory." In the theory, he has drawn some assumptions such as:

Human beings have great potentialities to produce children
In agriculture Law of Diminishing Returns operates
Human beings will need food to eat
Passion between sexes is necessary and unavoidable

This theory became very famous and controversial as well at that period too. On the one hand, there are some thinkers, known as Neo-Malthusians, supporting him but on the other hand there are numerous thinkers criticizing his theory on various accounts.

In his theory, it is found that human beings have great potentialities to produce children; food is necessary for the existence of human being but the land is limited; and the passion between the sexes is necessary and unavoidable which will increase the population in geometrical progression (like 1,2,4,8,16,32,64, and so on) but the food in arithmetic progression (like 1,2,3,4,5,6, and so on). At the end this will force an imbalance in population and means of subsistence. He further says that to control the population, people need to control birth as a preventive check on population growth. He talks about delayed marriage and even permanent self-denial from sex. And if birth is not controlled properly in time, this will end to positive checks which are misery and checked by nature. The imbalance in population and in means of subsistence will trigger wars, famine, natural calamities. That is how the nature will bring balance in population and in the means of subsistence and will enter into the cycle which again continues to population growth and food growth in different ratios and the so on.

Of course he was the first philosopher who applied the inductive method very thoroughly and systematically to social science, but all is assumptions could be true and might work at the ancient period and in a particular society where his study was based on. Now at the present, it is not applicable at all. So many things which have great belongings with human beings, and developments in sciences and technologies and even in cultures that bring a lot of changes in several aspects of life and living are ignored in the theory.

In his theory, he claims that the human beings are interested in increasing family size, which might be applicable in an ancient period when the people were illiterate, depend on agriculture, and so on. But in the present context, it is not applicable anywhere because now the people are educated. People know the demerits of large family size. People are not found interested in...

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