The Age of George III
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|Question stated - Little prospect of a determination of it, from the enmity of the opposing parties - The principal argument against the perfectibility of man and of society has never been fairly answered - Nature of the difficulty arising from population - Outline of the principal argument of the Essay
|The different ratio in which population and food increase - The necessary effects of these different ratios of increase - Oscillation produced by them in the condition of the lower classes of society - Reasons why this oscillation has not been so much observed as might be expected - Three propositions on which the general argument of the Essay depends - The different states in which mankind have been known to exist proposed to be examined with reference to these three propositions.
|The savage or hunter state shortly reviewed - The shepherd state, or the tribes of barbarians that overran the Roman Empire - The superiority of the power of population to the means of subsistence - the cause of the great tide of Northern Emigration.
|State of civilized nations - Probability that Europe is much more populous now than in the time of Julius Caesar - Best criterion of population - Probable error of Hume in one the criterions that he proposes as assisting in an estimate of population - Slow increase of population at present in most of the states of Europe - The two principal checks to population - The first, or preventive check examined with regard to England.
|The second, or positive check to population examined, in England - The true cause why the immense sum collected in England for the poor does not better their condition - The powerful tendency of the poor laws to defeat their own purpose - Palliative of the distresses of the poor proposed - The absolute impossibility, from the fixed laws of our nature, that the pressure of want can ever be completely removed from the lower classes of society - All the checks to population may be resolved into misery or vice.
|New colonies - Reasons for their rapid increase - North American Colonies - Extraordinary instance of increase in the back settlements - Rapidity with which even old states recover the ravages of war, pestilence, famine, or the convulsions of nature.
|A probable cause of epidemics - Extracts from Mr Suessmilch's tables - Periodical returns of sickly seasons to be expected in certain cases - Proportion of births to burials for short periods in any country an inadequate criterion of the real average increase of population - Best criterion of a permanent increase of population - Great frugality of living one of the causes of the famines of China and Indostan - Evil tendency of one of the clauses in Mr Pitt's Poor Bill - Only one proper way of encouraging population - Causes of the Happiness of nations - Famine, the last and most dreadful mode by which nature represses a redundant population - The three propositions considered as established.
|Mr Wallace - Error of supposing that the difficulty arising from population is at a great distance - Mr Condorcet's sketch of the progress of the human mind - Period when the oscillation, mentioned by Mr Condorcet, ought to be applied to the human race.
|Mr Condorcet's conjecture concerning the organic perfectibility of man, and the indefinite prolongation of human life - Fallacy of the argument, which infers an unlimited progress from a partial improvement, the limit of which cannot be ascertained, illustrated in the breeding of animals, and the cultivation of plants.
|Mr Godwin's system of equality - Error of attributing all the vices of mankind to human institutions - Mr Godwin's first answer to the difficulty arising from population totally insufficient - Mr Godwin's beautiful system of equality supposed to be realized - In utter destruction simply from the principle of population in so short a time as thirty years.
|Mr Godwin's conjecture concerning the future extinction of the passion between the sexes - Little apparent grounds for such a conjecture - Passion of love not inconsistent either with reason or virtue.
|Mr Godwin's conjecture concerning the indefinite prolongation of human life - Improper inference drawn from the effects of mental stimulants on the human frame, illustrated in various instances - Conjectures not founded on any indications in the past not to be considered as philosophical conjectures - Mr Godwin's and Mr Condorcet's conjecture respecting the approach of man towards immortality on earth, a curious instance of the inconsistency of scepticism.
|Error of Mr Godwin is considering man too much in the light of a being merely rational - In the compound being, man, the passions will always act as disturbing forces in the decisions of the understanding - Reasonings of Mr Godwin on the subject of coercion - Some truths of a nature not to be communicated from one man to another.
|Mr Godwin's five propositions respecting political truth, on which his whole work hinges, not established - Reasons we have for supposing, from the distress occasioned by the principle of population, that the vices and moral weakness of man can never be wholly eradicated - Perfectibility, in the sense in which Mr Godwin uses the term, not applicable to man - Nature of the real perfectibility of man illustrated.
|Models too perfect may sometimes rather impede than promote improvement - Mr Godwin's essay on 'Avarice and Profusion' - Impossibility of dividing the necessary labour of a society amicably among all - Invectives against labour may produce present evil, with little or no chance of producing future good - An accession to the mass of agricultural labour must always be an advantage to the labourer.
|Probable error of Dr Adam Smith in representing every increase of the revenue or stock of a society as an increase in the funds for the maintenance of labour - Instances where an increase of wealth can have no tendency to better the condition of the labouring poor - England has increased in riches without a proportional increase in the funds for the maintenance of labour - The state of the poor in China would not be improved by an increase of wealth from manufactures.
|Question of the proper definition of the wealth of a state - Reason given by the French economists for considering all manufacturers as unproductive labourers, not the true reason - The labour of artificers and manufacturers sufficiently productive to individuals, though not to the state - A remarkable passage in Dr Price's two volumes of Observations - Error of Dr Price in attributing the happiness and rapid population of America, chiefly, to its peculiar state of civilization - No advantage can be expected from shutting our eyes to the difficulties in the way to the improvement of society.
|The constant pressure of distress on man, from the principle of population, seems to direct our hopes to the future - State of trial inconsistent with our ideas of the foreknowledge of God - The world, probably, a mighty process for awakening matter into mind - Theory of the formation of mind - Excitements from the wants of the body - Excitements from the operation of general laws - Excitements from the difficulties of life arising from the principle of population.
|The sorrows of life necessary to soften and humanize the heart - The excitement of social sympathy often produce characters of a higher order than the mere possessors of talents - Moral evil probably necessary to the production of moral excellence - Excitements from intellectual wants continually kept up by the infinite variety of nature, and the obscurity that involves metaphysical subjects - The difficulties in revelation to be accounted for upon this principle - The degree of evidence which the scriptures contain, probably, best suited to the improvements of the human faculties, and the moral amelioration of mankind - The idea that mind is created by excitements seems to account for the existence of natural and moral evil.
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