population will eventually outstrip the food supply. Malthus’s arguments, with their emphasis on the inevitability of poverty and misery, allowed the middle class to acquiesce in the destruction of an older society that had made some attempt to care for its poor. Ricardo was the son of a London stockbroker who himself made a fortune on the stock market. In 1809 Ricardo published a pamphlet “The High Price of Bullion” arguing that paper currency should be backed up by precious metals. In 1817 he published his Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. According to Halevy, Ricardo became the leading light of English economics only after the question of rent attracted public attention, and after Malthus had distinguished himself by developing a principle of rent, in addition to his principle of population. Jeremy Bentham was a British philosopher, jurist, and social reformer. He is regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism, that insisted that all truth is derived from experience or observation of the physical world. Bentham, whose major work, “The Principles of Morals and Legislation”, was published in 1789. Auguste Comte (1798-1857), was a founder of the discipline of sociology and of the doctrine of positivism. He is sometimes regarded as the first philosopher of science in the modern sense of the term. Comte rejected metaphysics as utterly futile; no one can discover the hidden essences of things—why events happen as they do, or what is the ultimate meaning and goal of existence.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read the whole page?
- Spring '08