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In the following sentence

The projections should be viewed in perspective, considering that alarmist Malthusian fears of inability to provide for more than a billion people on earth did not come true.

I think It should be the alarmist Malthusian fears of......

I do not exactly know the reason but as a rule of thumb in such constructions When an adjective is placed before a noun the definite article the is used

  • The article is optional in your context. Including it implies greater acknowledgement / recognition of "Malthusian fears", so given the writer is clearly dismissive of any such fears, he has good reason for not including the article. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 22 '19 at 13:35
  • @FumbleFingers would say it is not optional, but rather changes the meaning. Piyush Yadav, why do you think it is required? Where did you learn this as a "rule"? – David Siegel Jun 22 '19 at 14:15
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The sentence:

The projections should be viewed in perspective, considering that alarmist Malthusian fears of inability to provide for more than a billion people on earth did not come true.

is grammatical and idiomatic. One could also say "the alarmist Malthusian fears" but that would subtly change the meaning. That would mean that there was one set of such fears, widely known and considered to be a thing. However, if there were several or many varieties of such fears, with perhaps different emphasizes or theoretical bases, the definite article would be wrong.

There is no general rule that a noun phrase consisting of {adjective}+{noun} or {adjective}+{adjective}+{noun} (as in the example) must be preceded by a definite article. Some examples:

  • Tasty fish (there may be many)
  • the tasty fish (a specific fish or group of fish is being refereed to, context msut indicate which)
  • the conservative Christian mainstream (there is presumably only one such mainstream )
  • conservative Christian politicians (three may be many different ones)
  • the Marxist economic theory (the speaker is saying that ther is only one such theory , or is treating it as a single thing)
  • Marxist economic theory (there may be several shades or varieties of such theory)
  • I think you're being overanalytical here. Given that (particularised or not) "Malthusian fears" are being summarily dismissed (because history has proved them wrong) in OP's context, I can't see that any normal reader would infer any implications about whether there might have been identifiably distinct kinds of such fears, based on the presence or absence of an article. What including it does tend to imply is that they once had significant "status", and would still be familiar to most readers, even though now discredited. So not including it amplifies the writer's dismissive attitude. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 22 '19 at 14:52

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