"Natural laws and political economy: Proudhon vs Malthus. Controversial aspects of Malthus'Essay on Population",
Vitantonio Gioia


This paper is focused on the heated debates that were widespread in France after the publication by Malthus of the second edition (1803) of his Essay on the Principle of Population. A view of its past and present effects on human happiness; with an inquiry into our prospects respecting the future removal or mitigations of the evils which it occasions. Proudhon's position assumes a significant role within these debates, because he turned the critique of Malthus's theory of population and the rejection of the vicious naturalistic character of his approach into a critique of political economy as a whole and of its claim to use natural laws to justify the inequalities and social injustices characterizing capitalistic society.

Palabras clave: Political economy; History of economic thought; Population theory; Natural laws and social structure; Utopian thought; Enlightenment; social inequalities.


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