Darwin, Wallace, and Malthus

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NewSouth, Incorporated, Feb 1, 2013 - 54 pages
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In this volume, excerpted from Charles Darwin: A Celebration of His Life and Legacy (NewSouth Books, 2013), Gerard Elfstrom describes the influence that the writing of Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834), British demographer and political economist, had on Darwin and Darwin's contemporary, Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), who independently developed a theory of evolution by natural selection. Especially interesting is how Darwin and Wallace interpreted a part of Malthus's "Principles of Population" differently in the context of the origin of human morality. Elfstrom concludes with a Malthusian analysis of current and future human growth and development of a logical and morally satisfying strategy for lowering birth rates in regions of the world least able to support greater numbers of human beings.

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About the author (2013)

Gerard Elfstrom is Professor of Philosophy at Auburn University. He earned his BA from Cornell College and an MA and PhD from Emory University, all in philosophy. Though he has taught a variety of philosophy courses, for the past several years, he has primarily offered an introduction to logic. He has done research in applied ethics, the ethics of international relations, and the philosophy of science.

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