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A Theory of Feelings Anger and Forgiveness"My Madness Saved Me"10 Good Questions about Life and Death12 Modern Philosophers50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a GodA Cabinet of Philosophical CuriositiesA Case for IronyA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to Buddhist PhilosophyA Companion to FoucaultA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to HumeA Companion to KantA Companion to Phenomenology and ExistentialismA Companion to PragmatismA Companion to the Philosophy of ActionA Companion to the Philosophy of BiologyA Companion to the Philosophy of LiteratureA Conceptual History of PsychologyA Critical Overview of Biological FunctionsA Critique of Naturalistic Philosophies of MindA Cursing Brain?A Delicate BalanceA Farewell to AlmsA Frightening LoveA Future for PresentismA Guide to the Good LifeA History of PsychiatryA History of the MindA Life Worth LivingA Manual of Experimental PhilosophyA Map of the MindA Metaphysics of PsychopathologyA Mind So RareA Natural History of Human MoralityA Natural History of Human ThinkingA Natural History of VisionA Parliament of MindsA Philosopher Looks at The Sense of HumorA Philosophical DiseaseA Philosophy of BoredomA Philosophy of Cinematic ArtA Philosophy of CultureA Philosophy of EmptinessA Philosophy of FearA Philosophy of PainA Physicalist ManifestoA Place for ConsciousnessA Question of TrustA Research Agenda for DSM-VA Revolution of the MindA Sentimentalist Theory of the MindA Stroll With William JamesA Tapestry of ValuesA Tear is an Intellectual ThingA Theory of FreedomA Thousand MachinesA Universe of ConsciousnessA Very Bad WizardA Very Bad Wizard: Morality Behind the CurtainA Virtue EpistemologyA World Full of GodsA World Without ValuesAbout FaceAbout the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the SelfAction and ResponsibilityAction in ContextAction Theory, Rationality and CompulsionAction, Contemplation, and HappinessAction, Emotion and WillAdam SmithAdaptive DynamicsAddictionAddictionAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction Is a ChoiceAdvances in Identity Theory and ResearchAftermathAfterwarAgainst AdaptationAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HappinessAgainst HealthAgency and ActionAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and EmbodimentAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, Freedom, and Moral ResponsibilityAl-JununAlain BadiouAlain BadiouAlasdair MacIntyreAlien Landscapes?Altered EgosAn Anthology of Psychiatric EthicsAn Ethics for TodayAn Intellectual History of CannibalismAn Interpretation of DesireAn Introduction to EthicsAn Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy An Introduction to Philosophy of EducationAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of PsychologyAn Introductory Philosophy of MedicineAn Odd Kind of FameAnalytic FreudAnalytic Philosophy in AmericaAncient AngerAncient Models of MindAncient Philosophy of the SelfAngerAnimal LessonsAnimal MindsAnimals Like UsAnnihilationAnother PlanetAnswers for AristotleAnti-ExternalismAnti-Individualism and KnowledgeAntigone’s ClaimAntipsychiatryAre We Hardwired?Are Women Human?Arguing about DisabilityArguing About Human NatureAristotle and the Philosophy of FriendshipAristotle on Practical WisdomAristotle's ChildrenAristotle's Ethics and Moral ResponsibilityAristotle, Emotions, and EducationArt & MoralityArt After Conceptual ArtArt in Three DimensionsArt, Self and KnowledgeArtificial ConsciousnessArtificial HappinessAspects of PsychologismAsylum to ActionAtonement and ForgivenessAttention is Cognitive UnisonAutobiography as PhilosophyAutonomyAutonomy and Mental DisorderAutonomy and the Challenges to LiberalismBabies by DesignBackslidingBadiouBadiou's DeleuzeBadiou, Balibar, Ranciere: Rethinking EmancipationBare Facts And Naked TruthsBasic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free WillBattlestar Galactica and PhilosophyBe Like the FoxBeautyBecoming a SubjectBecoming HumanBehavingBehavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic EraBeing AmoralBeing HumanBeing Mentally Ill: A Sociological Theory Being No OneBeing Realistic about ReasonsBeing ReducedBeing YourselfBelief's Own EthicsBending Over BackwardsBerlin Childhood around 1900Bernard WilliamsBertrand RussellBetter than BothBetter Than WellBetween Two WorldsBeyond HealthBeyond Hegel and NietzscheBeyond KuhnBeyond LossBeyond Moral JudgmentBeyond PostmodernismBeyond ReductionBeyond SchizophreniaBeyond the DSM StoryBioethicsBioethics and the BrainBioethics in the ClinicBiological Complexity and Integrative PluralismBiology Is TechnologyBiosBipolar ExpeditionsBlackwell Companion to the Philosophy of EducationBlindsight & The Nature of ConsciousnessBlues - Philosophy for EveryoneBlushBob Dylan and PhilosophyBody ConsciousnessBody Image And Body SchemaBody ImagesBody LanguageBody MattersBody WorkBody-Subjects and Disordered MindsBoundBoundaries of the MindBoyleBrain Evolution and CognitionBrain FictionBrain, Mind, and Human Behavior in Contemporary Cognitive ScienceBrain-WiseBrainchildrenBrains, Buddhas, and BelievingBrainstormingBrave New WorldsBreakdown of WillBrief Child Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and FaithBrief Therapy Homework PlannerBritain on the CouchBritish Idealism and the Concept of the SelfBrute RationalityBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBut Is It Art?Camus and SartreCartesian LinguisticsCartographies of the MindCarving Nature at Its JointsCase Studies in Biomedical Research EthicsCassandra's DaughterCato's TearsCausation and CounterfactualsCauses, Laws, and Free WillChanging Conceptions of the Child from the Renaissance to Post-ModernityChanging the SubjectChaosophyCharacter and Moral Psychology Character as Moral FictionCharles DarwinCherishmentChildhood and the Philosophy of EducationChildrenChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingChoices and ConflictChoosing Not to ChooseChristmas - Philosophy for EveryoneCinema, Philosophy, BergmanCinematic MythmakingCity and Soul in Plato's RepublicClassifying MadnessClear and Queer ThinkingClinical EthicsClinical Psychiatry in Imperial GermanyCodependent ForevermoreCoffee - Philosophy for EveryoneCognition and the BrainCognition of Value in Aristotle's EthicsCognition Through Understanding: Self-Knowledge, Interlocution, Reasoning, ReflectionCognitive BiologyCognitive FictionsCognitive Neuroscience of EmotionCognitive Systems and the Extended MindCognitive Systems and the Extended Mind Cognitive Theories of Mental IllnessCoherence in Thought and ActionCollected Papers, Volume 1Collected Papers, Volume 2College SexComedy IncarnateCommitmentCommunicative Action and Rational ChoiceCompetence, Condemnation, and CommitmentConcealment And ExposureConceptual Analysis and Philosophical NaturalismConceptual Art and PaintingConceptual Issues in Evolutionary BiologyConfessionsConfucianismConnected, or What It Means to Live in the Network SocietyConquest of AbundanceConscience and ConvenienceConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousness ConsciousnessConsciousness and Its Place in NatureConsciousness and LanguageConsciousness and Mental LifeConsciousness and MindConsciousness and the NovelConsciousness and the SelfConsciousness EmergingConsciousness EvolvingConsciousness ExplainedConsciousness in ActionConsciousness RecoveredConsciousness RevisitedConsciousness, Color, and ContentConsole and ClassifyConstructing the WorldConstructive AnalysisContemporary Debates In Applied EthicsContemporary Debates in Moral TheoryContemporary Debates in Philosophy of BiologyContemporary Debates in Philosophy of MindContemporary Debates in Political PhilosophyContemporary Debates in Social PhilosophyContemporary Perspectives on Natural LawContested Knowledge: Social Theory TodayContesting PsychiatryContext and the AttitudesContinental Philosophy of ScienceControlControlling Our DestiniesConversations About Psychology and Sexual OrientationCopernicus, Darwin and FreudCrazy for YouCreating a Life of Meaning and CompassionCreating ConsilienceCreating HysteriaCreating Mental IllnessCreating Scientific ConceptsCreating the American JunkieCreation, Rationality and AutonomyCreatures Like Us?Crime and CulpabilityCrime, Punishment, and Mental IllnessCrimes of ReasonCritical New Perspectives on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderCritical PsychiatryCritical PsychologyCritical ResistanceCritical Thinking About PsychologyCritical VisionsCross and KhoraCruel CompassionCTRL [SPACE]Cultural Psychology of the SelfCultural Theory: An IntroductionCulture and Psychiatric DiagnosisCulture and Subjective Well-BeingCulture of DeathCultures of NeurastheniaCurious EmotionsCurrent Controversies in Experimental PhilosophyCustom and Reason in HumeCustomers and Patrons of the Mad-TradeCutting God in Half - And Putting the Pieces Together AgainCylons in AmericaDamaged IdentitiesDamasio's Error and Descartes' TruthDangerous EmotionsDaniel DennettDaniel DennettDark AgesDarwin and DesignDarwin's Dangerous IdeaDarwin's LegacyDarwin, God and the Meaning of LifeDarwinian PsychiatryDarwinian ReductionismDarwinizing CultureDating: Philosophy for EveryoneDeathDeathDeath and CharacterDeath and CompassionDeath and the AfterlifeDebating DesignDebating HumanismDecision Making, Personhood and DementiaDecomposing the WillDeconstructing PsychotherapyDeconstruction and DemocracyDeeper Than DarwinDeeper than ReasonDefending Science - within ReasonDefining Psychopathology in the 21st CenturyDegrees of BeliefDelusion and Self-DeceptionDelusions and Other Irrational BeliefsDelusions and the Madness of the MassesDementiaDemons, Dreamers, and MadmenDennett and Ricoeur on the Narrative SelfDennett’s PhilosophyDepression Is a ChoiceDepression, Emotion and the SelfDepthDerrida, Deleuze, PsychoanalysisDescartesDescartes and the Passionate MindDescartes' CogitoDescartes's Changing MindDescartes's Concept of MindDescribing Inner Experience?Descriptions and PrescriptionsDesembodied Spirits and Deanimated Bodies Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Desire and AffectDesire, Love, and IdentityDesire, Practical Reason, and the GoodDeveloping the VirtuesDiagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersDialectics of the SelfDid My Neurons Make Me Do It?Difference and IdentityDigital SoulDimensional Models of Personality DisordersDisability, Difference, DiscriminationDisjunctivismDisorders of VolitionDisorientation and Moral LifeDispatches from the Freud WarsDisrupted LivesDistractionDisturbed ConsciousnessDivided Minds and Successive SelvesDo Apes Read Minds?Do Fish Feel Pain?Do We Still Need Doctors?Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?Does the Woman Exist?Doing without ConceptsDon't Believe Everything You ThinkDonald DavidsonDonald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the MentalDoubting Darwin?Dreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV-TR CasebookDworkin and His CriticsDying to KnowDynamics in ActionDysthymia and the Spectrum of Chronic DepressionsEccentricsEducational MetamorphosesEffective IntentionsElbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth WantingEmbodied Minds in ActionEmbodied RhetoricsEmbodied Selves and Divided MindsEmbryos under the MicroscopeEmergencies in Mental Health PracticeEmerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in BionanotechnologyEmotionEmotion and ConsciousnessEmotion and PsycheEmotion ExperienceEmotion RegulationEmotion, Evolution, And RationalityEmotional IntelligenceEmotional ReasonEmotional ReasonEmotional TruthEmotions in Humans and ArtifactsEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions, Value, and AgencyEmpathyEmpathy and AgencyEmpathy and Moral DevelopmentEmpathy and MoralityEmpathy in the Context of PhilosophyEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEnchanted LoomsEngaging BuddhismEngineering the Human GermlineEnjoymentEnvyEpicureanismEpistemic LuckEpistemologyEpistemology and EmotionsEpistemology and the Psychology of Human JudgmentEros and the GoodErotic MoralityEssays in Social NeuroscienceEssays in the Metaphysics of Mind Essays on Derek Parfit's On What MattersEssays on Free Will and Moral ResponsibilityEssays on Nonconceptual ContentEssays on Philosophical CounselingEssays on Reference, Language, and MindEssays on the Concept of Mind in Early-Modern PhilosophyEssential Sources in the Scientific Study of ConsciousnessEsssential Philosophy of PsychiatryEternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindEthical Conflicts in PsychologyEthical Issues in Forensic Mental Health ResearchEthical Issues in Human CloningEthical TheoryEthicsEthicsEthics and the A PrioriEthics and the Metaphysics of MedicineEthics and Values in PsychotherapyEthics Done RightEthics ExpertiseEthics in Plain EnglishEthics in PracticeEthics in Psychiatric ResearchEthics of PsychiatryEthics without OntologyEuropean Review of Philosophy. Vol. 5Everyday IrrationalityEvil in Modern ThoughtEvolutionEvolution and the Human MindEvolution's RainbowEvolutionary Origins of MoralityEvolutionary PsychologyExamined LifeExamined LivesExistential AmericaExistentialismExistentialism and Romantic LoveExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and NaturalismExperiments in EthicsExplaining ConsciousnessExplaining the BrainExplaining the Computational MindExplanatory PluralismExploding the Gene MythExploring HappinessExploring the SelfExpression and the InnerExpressions of JudgmentFaces of IntentionFact and ValueFact and Value in EmotionFacts, Values, and NormsFads and Fallacies in the Social SciencesFaith and Wisdom in ScienceFatherhoodFear of KnowledgeFearless SpeechFeeling Pain and Being in PainFeelings and EmotionsFeelings of BeingFellow-Feeling and the Moral LifeFeminism and Its DiscontentsFeminism and Philosophy of ScienceFeminist Ethics and Social and Political PhilosophyFeminist Interpretations of Rene DescartesFeminist TheoryField Notes from ElsewhereFinding Consciousness in the BrainFingerprints of GodFlesh in the Age of ReasonFolk Psychological NarrativesFolk Psychology Re-AssessedForces of HabitForgivenessForgiveness and LoveForgiveness and RetributionFoucault 2.0Foucault and PhilosophyFoucault NowFoucault, Psychology and the Analytics of PowerFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Ethical Practice, Research, and Teaching in PsychologyFour Views on Free WillFrank Ramsey (1903-1930)Free WillFree WillFree WillFree WillFree Will and Action ExplanationFree Will and LuckFree Will And Moral ResponsibilityFree Will as an Open Scientific ProblemFree Will, Agency, and Meaning in LifeFree: Why Science Hasn't Disproved Free WillFreedomFreedom and DeterminismFreedom And NeurobiologyFreedom and ResponsibiltyFreedom and ValueFreedom EvolvesFreedom RegainedFreedom vs. InterventionFreedom, Fame, Lying, and BetrayalFreudFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFreud As PhilosopherFreud's AnswerFreud, the Reluctant PhilosopherFriedrich NietzscheFrom Chance to ChoiceFrom Clinic to ClassroomFrom Complexity to LifeFrom Enlightenment to ReceptivityFrom Knowledge to Wisdom: A Revolution for Science and the HumanitiesFrom Morality to Mental HealthFrom Passions to EmotionsFrom Philosophy to PsychotherapyFrom Valuing to ValueFrontiers of ConsciousnessFrontiers of JusticeFurnishing the MindGalileo in PittsburghGenderGender and Mental HealthGender in the MirrorGender TroubleGenesGenes, Women, EqualityGenetic Nature/CultureGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetic SecretsGenocide's AftermathGenomes and What to Make of ThemGerman Idealism and the JewGerman PhilosophyGetting HookedGilles DeleuzeGlobal PhilosophyGluttonyGod and Phenomenal ConsciousnessGoffman's LegacyGoing Amiss in Experimental ResearchGoodness & AdviceGrassroots SpiritualityGrave MattersGrave MattersGreedGreek Models of Mind and SelfGut ReactionsHabilitation, Health, and AgencyHabits of MindHallucinationHandbook of BioethicsHandbook of EmotionsHappinessHappinessHappinessHappinessHappiness and EducationHappiness and the Good LifeHappiness Is OverratedHappiness, Death, and the Remainder of LifeHard LuckHarmful ThoughtsHaving the World in ViewHealing PsychiatryHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHealth, Illness and DiseaseHealth, Science, and Ordinary LanguageHegelHeidegger and a Metaphysics of FeelingHeidegger, Metaphysics and the Univocity of BeingHermann von Helmholtz's MechanismHermeneutics As PoliticsHeterophobiaHeterosyncraciesHeuristics and BiasesHeuristics and the LawHidden ResourcesHidden SelvesHiding from HumanityHigh Art LiteHistorical OntologyHistory of Psychiatry and Medical PsychologyHistory, Historicity And ScienceHobbesHomosexualitiesHope and Dread in PsychoanalysisHot ThoughtHow Can I Be Trusted?How Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe?How Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow Could Conscious Experiences Affect Brains?How Do We Know Who We Are?How Emotions WorkHow Emotions WorkHow History Made the MindHow Images ThinkHow is Nature Possible?How Propaganda WorksHow Science WorksHow Scientific Practices MatterHow Scientists Explain DiseaseHow The Body Shapes The MindHow the Body Shapes the Way We ThinkHow the Mind Explains BehaviorHow the Mind Uses the BrainHow to Make Opportunity EqualHow to Solve the Mind-Body Problemhow to stop timeHow to Think More About SexHow We HopeHow We ReasonHuman CloningHuman Development, Language and the Future of MankindHuman EnhancementHuman Evolution, Reproduction, and MoralityHuman GoodnessHuman Identity and BioethicsHuman NatureHuman NatureHuman Nature and the Limits of ScienceHuman-Built WorldHumanismHumanism, What's That?HumanityHumans, Animals, MachinesHumeHumeHume on Motivation and VirtueHusserlHystoriesI of the VortexI Was WrongIdeas that MatterIdentifying the MindIdentity and Agency in Cultural WorldsIgnorance and ImaginationIllnessImagination and Its PathologiesImagination and the Meaningful BrainImagining NumbersImmortal RemainsImproving Nature?In Defense of an Evolutionary Concept of HealthIn Defense of SentimentalityIn Love With LifeIn Praise of Athletic BeautyIn Praise of Natural PhilosophyIn Praise of the WhipIn Pursuit of HappinessIn Search of HappinessIn the Name of GodIn the Name of IdentityIn the Space of ReasonsIn the SwarmIn Two MindsIncompatibilism's AllureIndividual Differences in Conscious ExperienceInfinity and PerspectiveInformation ArtsInformed Consent in Medical ResearchIngmar Bergman, Cinematic PhilosopherInhuman ThoughtsInner PresenceInsanityIntegrating Psychotherapy and PharmacotherapyIntegrity and the Fragile SelfIntelligent VirtueIntentionIntentionality, Deliberation and AutonomyIntentions and IntentionalityIntentions and IntentionalityInterpreting MindsInterpreting NietzscheIntroducing Greek PhilosophyIntrospection and ConsciousnessIntrospection VindicatedIntuition, Imagination, and Philosophical MethodologyIntuitionismInvestigating the Psychological WorldIrrationalityIrrationalityIs Academic Feminism Dead?Is It Me or My Meds?Is Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Is Oedipus Online?Is Science Neurotic?Is Science Value Free?Is the Visual World a Grand Illusion?Is There a Duty to Die?Issues in Philosophical CounselingJacques LacanJacques RancièreJacques RanciereJean-Paul SartreJohn McDowellJohn SearleJohn Searle's Ideas About Social RealityJohn Stuart MillJohn Stuart Mill and the Writing of CharacterJoint AttentionJokesJonathan EdwardsJudging and UnderstandingJustice for ChildrenJustice in RobesJustice, Luck, and KnowledgeKantKant and MiltonKant and the Fate of AutonomyKant and the Limits of AutonomyKant and the Role of Pleasure in Moral ActionKant on Freedom, Law, and HappinessKant on Moral AutonomyKant's Anatomy of EvilKant's Anatomy of the Intelligent MindKant's Theory of VirtueKarl JaspersKarl PopperKey Concepts in PhilosophyKierkegaardKierkegaard as PhenomenologistKierkegaard's Concept of DespairKierkegaard's MuseKinds of MindsKinds, Things, and StuffKnowing, Knowledge and BeliefsKnowledge MonopoliesKnowledge, Belief, and CharacterKnowledge, Possibility, and ConsciousnessLacanLack of CharacterLack of CharacterLanguageLanguage in ContextLanguage, Consciousness, CultureLanguage, Culture, and MindLanguage, Vision, and MusicLaw and the BrainLaw, Liberty, and PsychiatryLaws, Mind, and Free WillLeaving YouLectures on the History of Political PhilosophyLevelling the Playing FieldLiberal Education in a Knowledge SocietyLiberatory PsychiatryLife and ActionLife at the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, 1857-1997Life Is Not a Game of PerfectLife of the MindLife's FormLife, Death, & MeaningLife, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of UtilityLife, Sex, and IdeasLight in the Dark RoomLike a Splinter in Your MindLiving and Dying WellLiving NarrativeLiving Outside Mental IllnessLiving with DarwinLiving With One’s PastLockeLocke LockeLogic and the Art of Memory Loneliness in Philosophy, Psychology, and LiteratureLooking for SpinozaLooking for The StrangerLost SoulsLOT 2LoveLoveLove's ConfusionsLove's VisionLove, Friendship, and the SelfLove, Sex & TragedyLuckyLudwig WittgensteinLustLyingMachine ConsciousnessMad for FoucaultMad TravelersMade with WordsMadness And Death In PhilosophyMadness and DemocracyMadness at HomeMadness Is CivilizationMaking Natural KnowledgeMaking Sense of EvolutionMaking Sense of Freedom and ResponsibilityMaking the DSM-5Making the Social WorldMaking TruthMale Female EmailMan, Beast, and ZombieMandated Reporting of Suspected Child AbuseManiaManic Depression and CreativityMapping the Edges and the In-betweenMapping the Future of BiologyMarcus AureliusMaster PassionsMatters of the MindMe++Meaning and Moral OrderMeaning and Value in a Secular AgeMeaning in LifeMeaning in Life and Why It MattersMeaning, Basic Self-Knowledge, and MindMeasuring HappinessMeasuring PsychopathologyMedia MadnessMedical Enhancement and PosthumanityMedicine and Philosophy in Classical AntiquityMedicine of the PersonMedicine, Mental Health, Religion, Science and Well-BeingMelancholy And the Care of the SoulMelancholy and the Otherness of GodMementoMemory and NarrativeMental ActionsMental CausationMental Causation and OntologyMental HealthMental Health At The CrossroadsMental Health Policy in BritainMerit, Meaning, and Human BondageMerleau-PontyMerleau-Ponty and the Possibilities of PhilosophyMetacognition and Theory of MindMetacreationMetaethical SubjectivismMetaethicsMetal and FleshMetaphors of MemoryMetapoliticsMethods in MindMichel FoucaultMill's UtilitarianismMindMindMind and ConsciousnessMind and CosmosMind and MechanismMind GamesMind in a Physical WorldMind in Everyday Life and Cognitive ScienceMind in LifeMind TimeMind's LandscapeMind, Brain and the Elusive SoulMind, Brain, and Free WillMind, Reason and ImaginationMinding MindsMindreadersMindreading AnimalsMinds and PersonsMinds, Brains, and LawMinds, Ethics, and ConditionalsMindshapingMindsightMindworldsMirror, MirrorMixed FeelingsMockingbird YearsModels of the SelfModern Social ImaginariesModern Theories of JusticeModernity and SubjectivityModernity and TechnologyMoody Minds DistemperedMoral BrainsMoral DimensionsMoral FailureMoral ImaginationMoral LiteracyMoral MachinesMoral ParticularismMoral PsychologyMoral Psychology and Human AgencyMoral Psychology, Volume 1Moral Psychology, Volume 2Moral Psychology, Volume 3Moral Psychology: Volume IVMoral RepairMoral Responsibility and Alternative PossibilitiesMoral TribesMoral Value and Human DiversityMorality and Self-InterestMorality in a Natural WorldMorality, Moral Luck and ResponsibilityMotherhoodMotive and RightnessMoving Beyond Prozac, DSM, and the New PsychiatryMultiple Analogies in Science and PhilosophyMultiple Identities & False MemoriesMusic, Madness, and the Unworking of LanguageMy Brain Made Me Do ItMy Double UnveiledMy WayNarrativeNarrative and IdentityNarrative MedicineNarrative PsychiatryNarrative Theory and the Cognitive SciencesNatural Ethical FactsNatural Kinds and Conceptual ChangeNatural MindsNatural-Born CybogsNaturalism and the First-Person PerspectiveNaturalism and the Human ConditionNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalized BioethicsNaturalizing the MindNatureNature and NarrativeNear Death ExperienceNeither Bad nor MadNeither Victim nor SurvivorNeuro-Philosophy and the Healthy MindNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNeurological Foundations of Cognitive Neuroscience Neurophilosophy at WorkNeurophilosophy of Free WillNeuropoliticsNeuropsychoanalysis in PracticeNeuroscience and PhilosophyNew Essays on the Explanation of ActionNew Philosophy for a New MediaNew Versions of VictimsNew Waves in Philosophy of ActionNietzscheNietzsche and Buddhist PhilosophyNietzsche on Ethics and PoliticsNietzsche's TherapyNietzsche, Culture and EducationNietzsche: The Man and His PhilosophyNihil UnboundNoir AnxietyNormative EthicsNormativityNorms of NatureNotebooks 1951-1959Notes Toward a Performative Theory of AssemblyNothing So AbsurdOblivionOn AnxietyOn ApologyOn Being AuthenticOn Being AuthenticOn BeliefOn BetrayalOn BullshitOn DelusionOn DesireOn EmotionsOn HashishOn Human RightsOn Loving Our EnemiesOn Nature and LanguageOn PersonalityOn ReflectionOn Romantic LoveOn the EmotionsOn the Freud WatchOn the Government of the LivingOn the Human ConditionOn the InternetOn the Meaning of LifeOn the Philosophy of LawOn the Pragmatics of CommunicationOn the Punitive SocietyOn TruthOn Virtue EthicsOn What MattersOn What We Owe to Each OtherOne Hundred DaysOnflowOnly a Promise of HappinessOntology of ConsciousnessOpen MindedOpen Your EyesOrgans without BodiesOther MindsOur Last Great IllusionOur Own MindsOur Posthuman FutureOur StoriesOut of Its MindOut of Our HeadsOxford Guide to the MindOxford Handbook of Psychiatric EthicsOxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPanic DisorderPanpsychismPanpsychism in the WestPartialityPassionate EnginesPassionate EnginesPathologies of BeliefPathologies of ReasonPatient Autonomy and the Ethics of ResponsibilityPC, M.D.Perceiving the WorldPerception & CognitionPerception and Basic BeliefsPerception, Hallucination, and IllusionPerceptual ExperiencePerfecting VirtuePerplexities of ConsciousnessPersistencePersonal AutonomyPersonal Autonomy in SocietyPersonal IdentityPersonal Identity and EthicsPersonal Identity and Fractured SelvesPersonhood and Health CarePersonsPersons and BodiesPersons, Humanity, and the Definition of DeathPersons, Souls and DeathPerspectives on ImitationPerspectives on PragmatismPessimismPhenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal KnowledgePhenomenal ConsciousnessPhenomenal IntentionalityPhenomenology and ExistentialismPhenomenology and Philosophy of MindPhilosophersPhilosophers on MusicPhilosophers without GodsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPhilosophical DevicesPhilosophical Foundations of NeurosciencePhilosophical History and the Problem of ConsciousnessPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in Psychiatry IIPhilosophical MethodologyPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical Myths of the FallPhilosophical Perspectives on DepictionPhilosophical Perspectives on Technology and PsychiatryPhilosophical PracticePhilosophical Reflections on DisabilityPhilosophizing About Sex Philosophizing the EverydayPhilosophy and HappinessPhilosophy and LivingPhilosophy and PsychiatryPhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy and Science FictionPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the Interpretation of Pop CulturePhilosophy and the Moving ImagePhilosophy and the NeurosciencesPhilosophy and This Actual WorldPhilosophy As FictionPhilosophy BitesPhilosophy Bites BackPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for LifePhilosophy in a New CenturyPhilosophy in an Age of SciencePhilosophy in Children's LiteraturePhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BodyPhilosophy of Film and Motion PicturesPhilosophy of LovePhilosophy of Love, Sex, and MarriagePhilosophy of MindPhilosophy of Mind and CognitionPhilosophy of Personal Identity and Multiple PersonalityPhilosophy of PsychologyPhilosophy of Public HealthPhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhilosophy of the Social SciencesPhilosophy on TapPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy the Day after TomorrowPhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy, Neuroscience and ConsciousnessPhilosophy, Politics, DemocracyPhotography and PhilosophyPhysical RealizationPhysicalism and Its DiscontentsPhysicalism and Mental CausationPhysicalism, or Something Near EnoughPhysician-Assisted DyingPillar of SaltPin-up GrrrlsPlatoPlatoPlato, Not Prozac!Platonic Ethics, Old and NewPluralistic CasuistryPolarities of ExperiencesPolitical EmotionsPopper, Objectivity and the Growth of KnowledgePornPorn StudiesPornography, Sex, and FeminismPortrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young ManPostcolonial DisordersPostpsychiatryPosttraumatic Stress DisorderPower and the SelfPower SplitPractical Autonomy and BioethicsPractical ConflictsPractical Identity and Narrative AgencyPractical PhilosophyPractical RulesPractical Tortoise RaisingPractically ProfoundPracticing Feminist Ethics in PsychologyPragmatic BioethicsPragmatismPragmatism, Old And NewPraise and BlamePredicative MindsPreferences and Well-BeingPrescriptions for the MindPresocraticsPrimary and Secondary QualitiesPrimates and PhilosophersPrivacyPrivileged AccessProblems in MindProblems of RationalityProzac As a Way of LifeProzac BacklashProzac on the CouchPsyche and SomaPsychiatric Aspects of Justification, Excuse and Mitigation in Anglo-American Criminal Law Psychiatric Cultures ComparedPsychiatric Diagnosis and ClassificationPsychiatric EthicsPsychiatric HegemonyPsychiatric PowerPsychiatric SlaveryPsychiatry and Philosophy of SciencePsychiatry and ReligionPsychiatry as a Human SciencePsychiatry as Cognitive NeurosciencePsychiatry in SocietyPsychiatry in the New MilleniumPsychiatry in the Scientific ImagePsychiatry, Psychoanalysis, And The New Biology Of MindPsycho-Physical Dualism TodayPsychoanalysis and Narrative MedicinePsychoanalysis and the Philosophy of SciencePsychological Concepts and Biological PsychiatryPsychology and PhilosophyPsychology and the Question of AgencyPsychology's Interpretive TurnPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychotherapy and ConfidentialityPsychotherapy As PraxisPublic PhilosophyPunishmentPure ImmanencePurple HazePursuing MeaningQuality of Life and Human DifferenceQueer PhilosophyQuestions for FreudQuestions for FreudQuine and Davidson on Language, Thought and RealityRaceRace in Contemporary MedicineRadiant CoolRadical AlterityRadical ExternalismRadical HopeRational and Social AgencyRational CausationRational Choice in an Uncertain WorldRationality + Consciousness = Free WillRationality and FreedomRationality and the Reflective MindRationality in ActionRawls, Dewey, and ConstructivismRe-creating MedicineRe-EmergenceRe-Engineering Philosophy for Limited BeingsReading AutobiographyReading Bernard WilliamsReading SartreReadings in the Philosophy of TechnologyReal MaterialismReal Natures and Familiar ObjectsReal ScienceRealism in ActionReason & EmancipationReason in ActionReason in PhilosophyReason's GriefReasonably ViciousReasoning About Rational AgentsReasoning in Biological DiscoveriesReasons from WithinReasons without RationalismReclaiming CognitionReclaiming the SoulReconceiving SchizophreniaReconstructing Reason and RepresentationReconstructing the Cognitive WorldRecreative MindsRediscovering EmotionRediscovering EmpathyReference and ExistenceReference and the Rational MindReflections On How We LiveReframing Disease ContextuallyRefusing CareRegulating SexReinventing the SoulRelativism and Human RightsRelativism and the Foundations of PhilosophyRelativism and the Foundations of PhilosophyReliable ReasoningReligion without GodRelying on OthersRemembering HomeResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility from the MarginsRestraining RageRethinking ExpertiseRethinking IntrospectionRethinking Mental Health and DisorderRethinking RapeRethinking the DSMRethinking the Sociology of Mental HealthRethinking the Western Understanding of the SelfReturn to ReasonRevolt, She SaidRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard Rorty's New PragmatismRightsRights, Democracy, and Fulfillment in the Era of Identity PoliticsRise And Fall of Soul And SelfRitalin NationRobert NozickRousseauRousseau and the Dilemmas of Modernity Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Derrida on DeconstructionRules, Reason, and Self-KnowledgeSaints, Scholars, 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A Farewell to AlmsReview - A Farewell to Alms
A Brief Economic History of the World
by Gregory Clark
Princeton University Press , 2007
Review by Mark S. Roberts, Ph.D.
Nov 6th 2007 (Volume 11, Issue 45)

Gregory Clark, an economics professor at the University of California, Davis, has written a work of economic theory that has shaken the very foundations of the established views of wealth and poverty, and, in the words of the New York Times, is "the next blockbuster in economics."  Besides the book's startling initial impact, it has been viewed as a work of enormous controversy, and as challenging the received knowledge of modern economic theory. All considered, the book would appear to be a modern incarnation of great classic works like Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, Marx's Capital, or Malthus's An Essay on the Principle of Population.

Appearances in this case, however, are deceiving. In point of fact, the book is immensely flawed--so flawed that it would take another book to adequately cover all the flaws. But given space constraints, I would like to here focus on what I consider the three main failings of the work: (1) The presumption that the assumptions of the guiding theory of the text--the Malthusian trap -- are unquestionably correct and therefore fully support the author's thesis. (2) The exclusion of virtually all alternative social and historical causes for the kind of political economy Clark theorizes, particularly with regard to the causes of poverty and population variations. (3)  The claim that there is a direct, demonstrable correlation between phylogenic development and wealth and poverty, i.e., what amounts to a subtle reformulation of social Darwinist-biological determinist thinking.

The general thesis of Clark's work is that the acquisition of wealth is an inherited characteristic, as opposed to a social-historical legacy. The characteristic which, according to Clark, had lain dormant in humans since prehistoric times was triggered at approximately the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (1800). But it was not--as many economists believe-- the political, social and economic stability that emerged during the Industrial Revolution that opened this new avenue to wealth. On the contrary, the external environment had little if any influence on the accumulation of personal wealth. After all, people had lived under more or less the same environmental conditions since hunter-gatherer times. Rather, in some uncanny way the arrival of the Industrial Revolution set into motion entirely new and different attitudes in the British gentry, ones guided by the virtues of hard work, education, saving rather than wasting, and rational thought, as opposed to the violence, irrationality, and impatience so indicative of primitive tribal cultures. It also warmed the normally frigid loins of that same British gentry, creating an unprecedented rise in fertility and, subsequently, offspring. The remarkable turn of events in 1800 eventually led to the acquisition of wealth, and an unprecedented emergence from the throes of a completely impoverished world. This emergence, however, was not easily accomplished. It required overcoming the foremost impediment to accumulating wealth: the so-called Malthusian Trap.

Trap or Crap?

The guiding concept of the "trap" is relatively simple. It is derived from Thomas Robert Malthus's influential work, An Essay on the Principle of Population. Malthus summarizes his theory in the following way:

Assuming then my postulata as granted, I say, that the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man. Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. [1]

This rather dogmatic conclusion, however, is supported by neither rigorous

scientific data nor anthropological evidence, but, rather, by invoking "the fixed laws of nature" dictated and maintained by "that Being who first arranged the system of the universe." Not much, it seems, to hang a revolutionary new economic theory on.

But even given its largely metaphysical, theological, and speculative origins, Clark assumes that the extrapolated Malthusian trap is the economic equivalent of gravity itself. Like gravity, it is imminently demonstrable, undeniable, and constitutes a universally valid law. Indeed, Clark even goes so far as to illustrate the implacable, irresistible, and tangible force of the Trap in a graph (Figure 1.1, p. 2) that shows it as creating a more or less economic flat- line from BCE 1000 to the onset of the Industrial Revolution (1800).  The explanation under the graph reads "World economic history in one picture."

"One picture," in Clark's view, seems to fit all. The myriad other pictures, however, do not tend to confirm his unfailing belief in a model derived from an economic theory inspired by that "Being who first arranged the system of the universe." The criticisms directed at the accuracy and applicability of Malthusian population theory regarding its economic implications are indeed plentiful, ranging historically from Malthus's own time to the present. Malthus's contemporary David Ricardo, for example, found very little to recommend his Principle of Political Economy: "There is hardly a page which does not contain some fallacy." [2] Modern views are not much kinder. John Kenneth Galbraith writes: "But among the many who sought to put the poverty of the poor on the shoulders of the poor--or remove it from those of the more affluent--none did so more completely than Malthus." [3] Joseph Schumpeter saw Malthus's population theory in an even darker perspective, arguing that it was basically valueless: "The teaching of Malthus's Essay became firmly entrenched in the system of economic orthodoxy of the time in spite of the fact that it should have been, and in a sense was, recognized as fundamentally untenable or worthless. . ." [4]  In a more contemporary vein, Rosalind Petchesky considers the fatal flaws in both Malthusian and anti-Malthusian positions to involve blatantly anti-feminist thinking, that is, to wrongly assume that it is natural for women to both want and to have numerous children; that community and state interests take precedence over women's interests in reproduction, and that there is no contradiction between women and men as to how, whether, or when to control reproduction.[5]

The above criticisms of Malthus's thought pale, however, in comparison to those of Marx and Engels. Marx himself wrote many passages critical of Malthus's theories, but perhaps none so scathing as a famous footnote in Capital disparaging the Essay on Population on numerous points, but particularly with regard to its unoriginal character:

If the reader reminds me of Malthus, whose "Essay on Population" appeared in 1798, I remind  him that this work in its first form is nothing more than a schoolboyish, superficial plagiary of Defoe, Sir James Steurt, Townsend, Franklin, Wallace &c, and does not contain a single sentence thought of by himself. The great sensation this pamphlet caused was due solely to party interest. . . .Malthus, hugely astonished by his success, gave himself to stalling into his book materials superficially compiled, and adding to it new matter, not discovered but annexed by him. [6]

Engels is not quite as accusatory and colorful in his comments, but no less critical. In his essay on political economy, he attacks Malthusian population theory for, in a manner of speaking, completely missing the point:

Malthus, the originator of this doctrine, maintains that population is always pressing on the means of subsistence; that as soon as production increases in the same proportion; and that the inherent tendency of population to multiply in excess of the available means of subsistence is the root of all misery and all vice. . . . If Malthus had not considered the matter so one-sidedly, he could not have failed to see that surplus population or labor power is invariably tied up with surplus wealth, surplus capital, and surplus landed property…The population is only too large where the productive power as a whole is too large. . . .These were the facts which Malthus ought to have considered in their totality. And whose consideration was bound to have lead to the correct conclusion. Instead, he selected one fact, gave no consideration to the others, and therefore arrived at his crazy conclusion. [7]

Criticism in and of itself, of course, does not invalidate the work of a thinker. To be sure, there are numerous economists who have embraced and employed aspects of Malthus's theory, including the so-called trap. But Clark does not employ the concept of the trap as an accessory to or inspiration for his own theory. Instead, he stipulates that it charts the primary cause of wealth and poverty, and, in the end, asserts that "wealth--and wealth alone--is the crucial determinant of lifestyles, both within and between societies."[8] All this, derived entirely from a theory that seems to have neither scientific nor, according to Ricardo's implication, logical grounding. A course something like claiming that the Ptolemaic theory would account perfectly for global warming--which would certainly be the case. Or, that the phlogiston theory would serve to explain the chemical reactions of combustion--which, in a somewhat odd sense, it would.

Do Wealth and Poverty Have Primarily Material and Natural Causes?

To say that Clark overlooks numerous other pertinent factors in the creation of wealth and poverty is a vast understatement. But he does not overlook these factors unintentionally. This calculated oversight becomes clear in an early statement regarding more traditional views of economic history, particularly those related to the Industrial Revolution:

The focus on material condition in this history will strike some as too narrow, too incidental to vast social changes over the millennia. Surely our material riches reflect but a tiny fraction of what makes industrialized societies modern.

On the contrary, there is ample evidence that wealth--and wealth alone--is the crucial determinant of lifestyles, both within and between societies.[9]

The obvious questions that arise from the above claim are: how could wealth possibly not itself be the product of those "vast social changes over the millennia," and therefore dependent principally on those changes? And, by extension, how could wealth possibly stand alone in being the "crucial determinant" of the abovementioned lifestyles,

while detached from the countless socio-economic and political acts that generated it historically?    

The narrowness of Clark's analysis is observable in virtually all of the early chapters devoted to fleshing out his conception of the effects of the Malthusian trap. In chapter 3, for example, he gives us a great deal of what he calls "empirical" evidence regarding the history of worldwide living standards prior to the Industrial Revolution. The chapter is replete with charts and graphs containing quantative data about wages, human height, nutrition, birth rates, and a few other indicators of economic status. The figures displayed in the charts seem precise and objective, to the extent that we are informed that the Ache women of Paraguay consumed on the average exactly 2,630 kilocalories daily, consisting mostly of palm fiber and shoots. Other arcane statistics indicate that the Shipibo toiled for only 3.4 hours a day on subsistence agriculture and fishing, while the average British worker of 1800 was employed for 9.1 hours of the day. The main point here being that the living standards for the rather primitive Ache and Shipibo were more or less the same as those of the British worker, and achieved with significantly less effort and time. By the end of chapter 3, the immense catalog of quantative statistics drawn from the historical and skeletal record is cited as "ample evidence to support the key contention of the Malthusian model." [10]

The problem with the above chapter and most of the rest of Clark's work is that all of the statistical data he cites were the direct result of complex and differing socio-political or historical occurrences not adequately reflected in the statistics.  To simply recount the results of historical or skeletal remains surveys only provides a minute part of the overall picture. This becomes painfully clear if one takes the island of Hispaniola as an example of population dynamics.  Prior to its "discovery" by Columbus in 1492, Hispaniola was a thriving island community of about 8 million inhabitants (a commonly accepted estimate). The Arawak/Taino natives fished, hunted and farmed to maintain their standard of living, which, in Clark's view, was probably more or less equal to that of western Europe at the moment. But a short time after Columbus's arrival, a curious population glitch occurred. By 1496 the population of Hispaniola had declined by about a half to four or five million. By 1508 it was down to less than a hundred thousand. By 1518 it numbered less than twenty thousand, and by 1545 the entire native population of Hispaniola was effectively extinct. [11] This precipitous decline had certain material causes--no doubt recordable in Clark's statistical charts and graphs--but it also reflected a significant socio-economic factor, that is, the dire results of the exploitation of native populations for their resources. In this particular case, Spain's attempt to build both national and personal wealth. The Spanish missionary, Bartolome de Las Casas, imparts some of the sheer abjection of wealth building on Hispaniola:

Once the Indians were in the woods, the next step was to form squadrons and pursue them, and whenever the Spaniards found them, they pitilessly slaughtered everyone like sheep in a corral. It was a general rule among Spaniards to be cruel, but extraordinarily cruel so that harsh and bitter treatment would prevent Indians from daring to think of themselves as human beings or having a minute to think at all. So they would cut an Indian's hands and leave them dangling by a shred of skin and they would send him on saying 'Go now, spread the news to your chiefs.' They would test their swords and their manly strength on captured Indians and place bets on the slicing off of heads or the cutting of bodies in half with one blow. They burned or hanged captured chiefs. [12]

What is also missing in the picture drawn by Clark's narrow statistical view is the extent to which the economic exploitation factor had affected population and poverty in the Americas in general after 1500. After decimating the populations of the Caribbean islands, the Spanish conquerors and other Europeans moved on into Mexico, Central and South America. Population declines were similar to those in earlier discovered islands, as were the brutal tactics and disease epidemics. "Overall in central Mexico the population fell by almost 95 percent within seventy-five years following the Europeans first appearance--from more than 25,000,000 people in 1519 to 1,300,000 in 1595." [13] This remarkable decline in population could hardly be accounted for in purely Malthusian terms. The relative size of the populations of the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America in the 16th century may have been subject to the pressures of certain material dynamics, but whatever population that may have been produced or lost was certainly not exclusively the result of these factors. Life spans, incomes, farming yields, caloric intake, average heights, etc. seem insignificant in view of the massive slaughter and epidemics that took place during the 16th century in the Americas.  

In the above respect, one could also cite large dislocations of populations that do not seem to fit Malthusian abstractions. The Atlantic slave trade, for example, imported approximately 25,000,000 young African men and women to the Americas during the period of 1450 through 1850. Charting and rigorously quantifying fertility, nutrition, height, real wages (!), and so on seems lacking in several important respects. Although African population was reduced significantly during this period, much of the reduction could not be attributed to material or natural causes within the African continent. Food production in Africa meant little to those who were forced to produce goods and agricultural products for slave owners in the New World. Population growth was stunted not because of the Malthusian trap, but by the violent removal of potential generations of African offspring. The same could be said for a later African phenomenon: the Belgian colonization of the Congo. During the nearly 30 year occupation of the so-called Congo Free State by Belgium's King Leopold II, the population of the Congo and Central Africa in general declined by some 7-10 million. There was very little natural or "material" about the decline. Most of the deceased Congolese natives were worked to death in the rubber plantations or ivory mills. Many others were slaughtered outright by the Force Publique--vicious mercenaries hired by Leopold to keep "law and order" in the Congo Free State. [14] Still others died of disease or enforced starvation, as it was common for resistant native populations to be driven out of their villages into the jungle. [15]

Now one might argue that the province of economic theorists is economics, and that social, cultural and political extensions are best left to others in other fields. There is probably some truth to the statement, but the work of many economists belies this claim. The socio-political, historical, and philosophical extensions of Marx's writing are well known. Engels, too, wrote numerous tracts on politics, religion, family dynamics, neo-Hegelianism, and a spate of other subjects generally considered peripheral to economic theory. This tendency to incorporate other fields of inquiry into economic theory also extends to modern economists like J.M. Keynes, Galbraith, Paul Krugman, and Lester Turow. Even Malthus himself deliberated seriously on certain societal conditions contributing to the exploitation of British workers in his own time. The weakness of relying solely on statistics and abstraction in developing economic theories is perhaps best summed up by another of Marx's comments on Malthusian theory: "overpopulation is. . .a historically determined relation, in no way determined by abstract numbers or by the absolute limit of the productivity of the necessaries of life, but by the limits posited rather by specific conditions of production." [16]

Forget the Poor

It is not surprising that as a close follower of Malthusian theory Clark would be accused of social Darwinism (an accusation he vigorously denies in an on-line interview).[17] After all, Malthus had influenced Darwin and written numerous passages that seemed like previews of some later conception of evolutionary fatalism: "It has appeared, that from the inevitable laws of our nature some human beings must suffer from want. These are the unhappy persons who, in the great lottery of life, have drawn a blank." [18] Despite his denial of being a social Darwinist, Clark's conclusions regarding poverty and the poor follow precisely the tenets of this movement, which is perhaps best described by Stephen Jay Gould in his seminal work on biometrics, psychometrics, and racism, The Mismeasure of Man, as "the general term for any evolutionary argument about the biological basis of human differences, but the initial meaning referred to a specific theory of class stratification within industrial societies, particularly to the idea that a permanently poor underclass consisting of genetically inferior people had precipitated down into their inevitable fate."[19]

Like social Darwinists-biological determinists in general, Clark is careful to eliminate or diminish the effects of "inconvenient" socially and culturally produced phenomena--what Gould sometimes refers to as "anomalies."  He thus grounds his theory in only those "natural" and materially observable facts that can be reified and recorded in terms of numerical or mathematical quotients, generally avoiding other crucial elements inconsistent with his central thesis.  Although this approach appears throughout, a particularly striking example occurs with his analysis of happiness in the concluding chapter of the text. Happiness, of course, is neither a concrete entity nor a static measurable state; rather, it is, like nature, truth, beauty, intelligence, and so on, an abstract and extraordinarily complex term that has been explored critically by both philosophers and psychologists since Aristotle's time.  Is happiness the entelechy of a virtuous life? Is it achievable at all?  To what extent is psychological well-being a source of happiness? Is the source of happiness inner or external, or a combination of both? These are just a few of the questions raised in the millennial investigation of this vexing subject. But, even given its immense complexity, Clark treats it--with the assistance of "happiness researchers"-- as though one could simply assign a specific number to happiness and sum up its effects statistically. On this, he matter-of-factly writes:

The second set of evidence (graph in fig. 18.1, p. 385) is derived from administration of the same survey questions. . .People in contemporary countries as poor as  those of the world before 1800 on average report little difference in happiness from those in very rich countries such as the United States. Average happiness at an income level of $20,000 is only modestly greater than that at $4,000 per person and less, the level of hunter-gatherer societies. At the national level the response of happiness to income is modest at best.[20]

          But what does the term "happiness" refer to here? Are people happy with their incomes or with their general state of being? If it refers to the latter, the graph is largely skewed.  Income represents merely a single value of happiness. And there are numerous circumstances in which income itself is largely negated as a contributing factor to happiness. For example, an Iraqi citizen making $20,000 annually in 2007 would, I expect, be far less happy than a Sumatran worker making $4,000 in the same year. This would no doubt also hold true nationally, thus weakening the claim that "on the national level the response of happiness to income is modest at best." The reason, of course, is that Iraqis live under the constant threat of violence, chaos, and death, while the others live a life of relative peace and security.  These factors and scores of other external "stressors" are not at all reflected in Clark's final conclusion. Yes, the graph shows that happiness does not vary much with income, but it tells one virtually nothing as to what happiness is--or even what it is in this limited context.

The ill-defined--perhaps undefined-- notion of happiness leads elsewhere to an even more extreme view of the relation between poverty and happiness. This time Clark employs the poor of today as a guide to the happiness of pre-1800 societies and finds a key element lacking:

The finding that relative income is crucial also suggests that the poor countries today may not be a good guide to the likely happiness of the mass of humanity before 1800. These poor nations, through the medium of television, can witness almost firsthand the riches of successful economies. If this helps set the point of reference for the economic position for the people of poor societies, then possibly there is no absolute effect of income on happiness even at the lowest incomes. [21]

Not only is it absurd to assume that this basically undefined notion of happiness would remain constant over a 200 year period, therefore rendering the analogy null, but the suggestion that the poor in so-called poor countries sitting in front of their television sets watching reruns of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" in order to get their economic bearings in the world is both debasing and wrong on numerous counts. To begin with, indigenous organizations like Mexico's Chiapas and Zapatista movements, Hugo Chavez and his centralized Latin American bank know precisely where their "economic bearings" lie: finding new strategies and technologies to resist exploitation by the rich countries that they are supposed to emulate. Moreover, television is not a medium intended to be read literally in terms of its imagery, but rather to stimulate consumption. Images of beautiful, well-dressed women driving around in shiny Mercedes are not meant to stimulate imitative behavior, but to produce the desire to consume--and this desire is in large part directed toward specific products and images. [22]

In the end, the strategy of reifying and concretizing multifaceted concepts like happiness leads Clark to what virtually all social Darwinists-biological determinists tend to assert: the inevitability of certain groups or peoples living under irreversible social conditions--in this case, the poor remaining eternally poor. For Clark, like Malthus before him, poverty is an unavoidable fact of some lives. The Malthusian trap is thus sprung again in view of demonstrating that the stratification of society into higher/lower, superior/inferior groups, even in a technologically advanced world, is inevitable and largely irreversible. Clark's utter disdain for the World Bank and the WTO are characteristic of this position: He does not criticize these institutions for their obvious systemic faults, but rather argues that they are simply impotent in face of the inevitability of income disparity and long ossified behavioral impediments. These impediments appear to be rooted deeply in some vague genetic predisposition, that is, an inability to adapt to the Malthusian constraints of population and agrarian production, which, in Clark's view, the English gentry of 1800 had successfully overcome. The "violent, spendthrift, impulsive, and leisure loving" communities of the pre-Industrial Revolution world in England had suddenly, perhaps magically, taken on new values, those of hard-work, negotiation, thrift and the like. The others who did not have that sort of phylogenetic programming remained wedged in the Malthusian trap, forever condemned to a life within the impassable boundaries of abject poverty.  This sort of economic fatalism is eerily reminiscent of The Bell Curve authors' Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray's disturbing solution to the problem of the black underclass in America:

Over the next decades, it will become broadly accepted by the cognitive elite that the people we now refer to as the underclass are in that condition through no fault of their own but because of inherent shortcomings about which little can be done. . . . In short, by custodial state, we have in mind a high-tech and more lavish version of the Indian reservation for some substantial minority of the nation's population, while the rest of America tries to go about its business. [23]

Conclusion

Whether A Farewell to Alms will live up to its enthusiastic initial reviews as an "economic blockbuster" is left to those in the specialized field of economics who can interpret and analyze the welter of statistical information and theoretical material it contains. But if economics is indeed a human science, the work fails woefully in both its humanity and its science. Clark's "brief economic history of the world" is in no way a history of a world populated by real human beings. Rather, it is the transposition of a questionable theory of population and its relation to wealth and poverty onto world history. In this respect, the so-called economic history of the world is in turn reduced to a history of the theory working itself out in a very narrow and barren world--a world in which its people simply conform to specifics of the theory itself. Catastrophic events are reduced to epiphenomena along the statistical baseline. Human slavery, for example, is given a bare two-and-a-half page account, one in which Clark poses a solution that seems patently absurd and risible: a negotiated financial settlement between slave and master.[24] Marx and Engels are, moreover, chided for misrepresenting the working conditions of the time in the Communist Manifesto--a misstep that is illustrated by a cartoonish drawing depicting the conditions in factories in the 19th century. Clark notes: "Marx and Engels . . . . could not have been more wrong about the fate of unskilled workers. .  . By 1815 real wages in England for both farm laborers and the unskilled had begun the inexorable rise that had created affluence for all." [25] If the Communist Manifesto were strictly about real wages and the cited illustration of working conditions was in fact a real and not a satiric depiction, Clark might have a point. Marx and Engels, however, were not focused in their work on the improvement of real wages or factory working conditions per se, but, more so, on the abolition of the  socio-economic and political conditions--in large part due to accumulated and concentrated wealth in the Capitalist class--that made such circumstances possible. Moreover, the very existence of the English Poor Laws tends to contradict Clark's claim of worker prosperity. On this, Malthus's biographer William Petersen writes: "If. . .early industrialization effected a rise in lower-class real income, how can it be that  one of the most urgent problems of those decades was the ever greater number of poor. . .?" [26] That Marx and Engels were concerned with specifically human conditions--ones of alienation and class struggle--seems to have eluded Clark. The English gentry, as far as he was concerned, had solved the human problem by virtue of their miraculous transformation from prodigality to thrift, from primitive violence to niceness.

As regards the scientific flaws in Clark's work, much has already been indicated   above.  Although his statistics may be correct and the conclusions drawn from them sound, the model he employs to construct his theory and its proofs is hardly itself valid or unassailable. Malthus's population theory and the "trap" derived from it are largely baseless, as indicated by the continually eroding reputation of the theory among many economists, both past and present. One can manipulate the facts to fit a theory or vice versa--a tactic of Clark's--but that does not mean the theory is either applicable to or reflective of the real world of economic history. In the end, the "trap" has not only snared those envious poor folks intently watching the mega-rich sailing into Port Vauban Antibes to get their "economic bearings," but also the author of a mega-richly flawed brief economic history of the world.

 Notes


[1]. T.R. Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population, Ch. 1, p. 46

[2] . Quoted in William Petersen, Malthus (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979), p. 84.

[3]. John Kenneth Galbraith, Economics in Perspective: A Critical History, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987), p. 79.

[4]  Quoted in John Bellamy Foster, "Malthus's Essay on Population at Age 200: a Marxian View," in Monthly Review, Dec., 1998, p. 6.

[5]  Rosalind Pollack Petchesky, Abortion and Women's Choice: The State, Sexuality, and Reproductive Freedom, (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1990), p. 58.

[6]. Karl Marx, Capital, V. 1, (New York: International Publishers, 1976), p. 235.

[7]  Karl Marx, The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844, (New York: International Publishers, 1964), pp. 218-220.

[8] Gregory Clark, A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007), p. 3.

[9] Ibid. (italics mine)

[10] Ibid., p. 70.

[11] David Stannard, American Holocaust, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 81.

[12] Ibid., p. 70.

[13]  Ibid., p 85.

[14]. See Adam Hochschild, King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998).

[15] See Ibid, pp. 225-234 for a detailed account of the death toll in Africa during Leopold's hold on the Congo.

[16] Quoted in Foster, Op. cit., p. 6.

[17] See "10 Questions for Greg Clark," gnxp.com/blog/2007/08/10, p. 5

[18] Malthus, Op. cit., p. 61.

[19] Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man, (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1981), p. 368.

[20] Clark, Op. cit., pp. 375-376

[21] Ibid., p. 376.

[22]  Most critical theory involving television in large part rejects the strictly imitative effect of the medium, arguing, more so, for the stimulation of certain psychological or ideational states. Such arguments are obvious in numerous works. Some examples are Stuart and Elizabeth Ewen Channels of Desire: the Shaping of American Consciousness and Patricia Mellencamp (ed.) Logics of Television.

[23] Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class in American Life, (New York: The Free Press, 1994), p. 523. (My italics)

[24]. See Clark, Op. cit., pp. 220-223.

[25] Ibid, p. 272. Clark supports this rather extreme statement by two references to his own work, and adds weight to his contention that the dire Industrial Revolution working conditions were greatly overestimated by citing a Google search that turned up 217,000 pages on "Industrial Revolution" and "misery."

[26]. See William Petersen, Malthus, Op. cit., p. 111.


© 2007 Mark Roberts

Mark S. Roberts, Ph.D. is author, editor and translator of several books, most recently Sade and the Narrative of Transgression, edited by David B. Allison, Mark S. Roberts and Allen S. Weiss  (Cambridge University Press, 2006), and Nietzsche and Paradox, by Rogerio Miranda De Almedia, translated by Mark S. Roberts (SUNY Press, 2007).

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