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Matthew Hale as a Precursor of Malthus


In The Primitive Origination of Mankind Considered and Examined According to the Light of Nature (1677) English jurist Matthew Hale  "seems to have been the first to use the expression 'Geometrical Proportion' for the growth of a population from a single family" (Hutchinson). In this he anticipated Malthus. Hale believed that in animals, especially insects, various natural calamities reduce the numbers to low levels intermittently, so maintaining a balance of nature.

J. Norman (ed.) Morton's Medical Bibliography, 5th ed (1991) No. 215.

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