Malthus, Thomas Robert (1776-1834) - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Theodicy

The same intellectual associations are seen in his theodicy. William Paley was one of the early converts to Malthus on population, and appropriately, Paley was one of Malthus's favorite theologians. So Malthus insists in the First Essay that "Evil exists in the world not to create despair but activity." (It was from this part of the work that Darwin and Wallace most directly derived the idea of a necessary struggle for existence.) What Malthus may have acquired from the dissenting Christians and Unitarians of his father's circle is a note of theological radicalism, a note not caught either by the hostile conventional left, represented then by Wiliam Cobbett and William Hazlitt, or by such sentimental conservative opponents as Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey.

In the theodicy of the last chapter of the First Essay Malthus boldly steps away from Paley and from the whole...

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This section contains 2,125 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Malthus, Thomas Robert (1776-1834) Encyclopedia Article
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Malthus, Thomas Robert (1776-1834) from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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