Classical Foundations of Population Thought
From Plato to Quesnay
Whereas the history of demography as a social science has been amply explored, that of the construction of the concept of population has been neglected. Specialists systematically ignore a noteworthy paradox: strictly speaking, the great intellectual figures of the past dealt with in this book have not produced demographic theories or doctrines as such, but they have certainly given some thought to population at both levels. Les mer
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Whereas the history of demography as a social science has been amply explored, that of the construction of the concept of population has been neglected. Specialists systematically ignore a noteworthy paradox: strictly speaking, the great intellectual figures of the past dealt with in this book have not produced demographic theories or doctrines as such, but they have certainly given some thought to population at both levels. First, the central epistemological and methodological orientation of the book is presented. Ideas on population, far from being part of the harmonious advancement of knowledge are the product of their context, that is evidently demographic, but also economic, political and above all intellectual. Then the ideas on population of Plato, Bodin, the French mercantilists, Quesnay and the physiocrats are examined under this light. The last chapter addresses the implicit philosophical, economic and political issues of population thought.
Format: 24 x 16 cm
From the reviews:“Charbit’s interesting book offers an anti-mythology, an archaeology of past ideas about population that questions and undermines the traditional teleological accounts. … This is a learned book that offers intelligent contextualizing readings of some key texts of early modern political and economic thought, and uses these to make an important point about the conventional teleological narratives of the development of demography as a discipline. As someone who is interested in all these things, I found it informative and illuminating … .” (Neville Morley, Population Studies, Vol. 66 (3), November, 2012)»
1: Interpreting Ideas on Population.- 2: History and Utopia.- The Platonic City.- The Demography of the City.- Religion and Politics.- Space and Order.- Moderation and Excess.- A Totalitarian System?.- 3: There are no Riches other than Men.- Jean Bodin on Sovereignty.- Demographic Interpretations of Jean Bodin.- The Theory of Absolute Sovereignty and Population.- Bodin on Aristotle and Plato.- 4: The Prince and his Population.- From Montchretien to Colbert and Fenelon.- Merchantilism and Populationism.- About Population.- A National Economic Policy.- International Trade and the Colonies.- The Decline of Merchantilism: Political and Economic Factors.- For Want of Political Arithmetic.- 5: The Political Failure of an Economic Theory.- Quesnay and the Physiocracy.- Agriculture and Prosperity.- On population.- A failure and its Causes.- 6: Towards Demography.- The Prince, The Father , The Landlord.- The Conflict of Interests.- The Emergence of Individualism.- From Homo Eoconomicus to Homo Demographicus.- Bibliography.- Index
Born 1945. Professor of demography (classe exceptionnelle) Universite Paris Descartes Training : MA Sociology and MA Economics ( Sorbonne), Diploma Sciences Po (Paris) D.Phil. Oxford, Doctorat es-Lettres (Paris). Chair of the Scientific Board of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Member of the Strategic comittee at the University level. Director of the Centre Population et Developpement (CEPED, Universite Paris Descartes, l'INED et l'IRD). 44 full-time teaching and research staff Published 17 books, 62 peer reviewed articles, etc. on international migrations, population theories and doctrines, family and fertility) Founding member of the the Revue Europeenne des Migrations Internationales. Chief editor of the series Populations (L'Harmattan). Chief editor of Demographic Transformation and Socio-Economic Change (Springer) Worked as a consultant for UNFPA UNDP, UNICEF, USAID, World Bank, Cooperation francaise, UNESCO. Field experience in several African, Carribean and South-East Asian countries.