Limits

Why Malthus Was Wrong and Why Environmentalists Should Care

by Giorgos Kallis

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781503611566

Western culture is infatuated with the dream of going beyond, even as it is increasingly haunted by the specter of apocalypse: drought, famine, nuclear winter. How did we come to think of the planet and its limits as we do? This book reclaims, redefines, and makes an impassioned plea for limits—a notion central to environmentalism—clearing them from their association with Malthusianism and the ideology and politics that go along with it. Giorgos Kallis rereads reverend-economist Thomas Robert Malthus and his legacy, separating limits and scarcity, two notions that have long been conflated in both environmental and economic thought. Limits are not something out there, a property of nature to be deciphered by scientists, but a choice that confronts us, one that, paradoxically, is part and parcel of the pursuit of freedom. Taking us from ancient Greece to Malthus, from hunter-gatherers to the Romantics, from anarchist feminists to 1970s radical environmentalists, Limits shows us how an institutionalized culture of sharing can make possible the collective self-limitation we so urgently need.


  • Stanford University Press; August 2019
  • ISBN: 9781503611566
  • Edition: 1
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Limits
  • Author: Giorgos Kallis
  • Imprint: Stanford Briefs
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781503611566

In The Press

"In this timely and essential book, Giorgos Kallis makes a compelling argument for autonomy and freedom from the unfulfillable promise of limitless growth under consumer capitalism. He shows how democratic, egalitarian self-limitation can combat the dominant but unsustainable imperative to constantly produce and acquire more."


About The Author

Giorgos Kallis is ICREA (Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies) Professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Autonomous University of Barcelona.