SOC312H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Substance Dependence, Industrial Revolution, Advanced Capitalism

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Published on 16 Apr 2013
School
UTSG
Department
Sociology
Course
SOC312H1
Professor
SOC312: Chapter 11 Population and Resources
Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834)
Population tends to grow geometrically while resources grow arithmetically
If left unchecked, population would become so large that it would eventually
surpass human’s ability to produce food in sufficient quantities
Principle of Population--> reducing effects such as plagues, wars, diseases are
‘positive checks’ on population growth and these events would be inevitable
results of allowing population growth to continue unabated
Believed that the only way to prevent successive cycles of population growth
and collapse was to implement ‘preventive checks’ on population to curtail the
birth rate
He was thinking about celibacy and late marriage ‘moral restraint’
o He considered these personal choices coincided perfectly with the moral
codes of a Christian life
Lived through American Revolution, French Revolution and a significant portion
of the Industrial revolution
Pre-Malthusian Thought on Population
Stangeland
o Identified seven pre-Malthusian perspectives on population
o Importance of marriage as a vehicle to promote pop growth is prominent
in these early writings (just as it was central to Malthus’s own theory)
1. The primitive attitude, usually expressed in religious veneration of the
procreative powers
a. Ex. many ancient pagan rituals began to encourage humans to
procreate in light of recurrent epidemics of disease and war
2. The Greek view, which saw procreation as a civic duty, hence something
to be regulated to the needs of the city state
3. The Roman policy of promoting continuous population growth, with a
view to the indefinite expansion of the Roman state.
4. The Medieval Christian conception of sexual relations, which
emphasized the moral superiority of celibacy
5. The attitude of the humanists, who echoed the Greeks in emphasizing the
need to regulate population
6. The individualistic and anti-ascetic attitude of the Reformation
7. The mercantilist attitude, favouring population growth as a way of
maintaining national economic and political power
a. Greater the population, the greater the state’s productivity and
prosperity
Precursors to Malthusian Thought
Virtus generative (biological drive to reproduce) is stronger than virtus nutriva
(human need for sustenance) ultimately limits population growth
Malthus, Condorcet, and Godwin
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Document Summary

Population tends to grow geometrically while resources grow arithmetically. If left unchecked, population would become so large that it would eventually surpass human"s ability to produce food in sufficient quantities. Principle of population--> reducing effects such as plagues, wars, diseases are. Positive checks" on population growth and these events would be inevitable results of allowing population growth to continue unabated. Believed that the only way to prevent successive cycles of population growth and collapse was to implement preventive checks" on population to curtail the birth rate. He was thinking about celibacy and late marriage moral restraint": he considered these personal choices coincided perfectly with the moral codes of a christian life. Lived through american revolution, french revolution and a significant portion of the industrial revolution. Virtus generative (biological drive to reproduce) is stronger than virtus nutriva (human need for sustenance) ultimately limits population growth.

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