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Rudi Thoemmes Rare Books

An Enquiry into the Nature of the Human Soul; wherein the Immateriality of the Soul is evinced from the Principles of Reason and Philosophy. London: James Bettenham

An Enquiry into the Nature of the Human Soul; wherein the Immateriality of the Soul is evinced from the Principles of Reason and Philosophy. London: James Bettenham, for the Author, [1733].

BAXTER, Andrew First edition of the chief work by the Scottish metaphysician Andrew Baxter (1686/7 1750), opponent and provoker of DAVID HUME, who was educated at King's College, Aberdeen. The subscribers to the first edition include George Cheyne and Colin Maclaurin. Second and third editions followed in 1737 and 1745. In this work of Christian rationalism influenced by Samuel Clarke, Baxter is heavily critical of Berkeley's views on matter. He also holds that denial of the causal principle leads straight to denial of God - or "downright Atheism", as he puts it. Paul Russell has argued persuasively that Andrew Baxter (and not William Wishart, as suggested by Mossner) was the true author of the anonymous 'Specimen of the principles concerning religion and morality' that provoked David Hume to write his 'Letter from a Gentleman to his friend in Edinburgh' (1745). See P. Russell, 'Wishart, Baxter and Hume's Letter from a Gentleman', Hume Studies, Vol. XXIII, No 2, 1997, pp. 245-76 and P. Russell, 'The Riddle of Hume's Treatise: Skepticism, Naturalism, and Irreligion', OUP, 2010, pp. 125 ff. Provenance: from the library of John Stephens, with his ownership ticket on the pastedown. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 4to, [xii], 376 pp., (150-1 misnumbered 152-3, 219 misnumbered 193) contemporary calf, rubbed and with wear at corners, upper joint cracked but holding firm, considerable loss to tail of spine, lacking the label, browning and spotting mainly light and confined to the margins, the listed errata which 'the Reader is intreated to correct with his pen' so corrected in contemporary ink, a sound copy all told, decidedly scarce.
Philosophie und Religion. Tübingen: I.G. Cotta

Philosophie und Religion. Tübingen: I.G. Cotta, 1804.

SCHELLING, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von First edition. Schneegerger 81. 'Schelling's own dissatisfaction with his early versions of identity theory derives from his rejection of Spinozism. Spinoza regards the move from God to the world of ‘conditions’ as a logical consequence of the nature of God. Schelling becomes convinced that such a theory gives no reason why the absolute, the ‘unconditioned’, should manifest itself in a world of negative ‘conditions’ at all. Schelling is therefore confronted with explaining why there is a transition from the absolute to the finite world. In Philosophy and Religion, of 1804, he claims, like Jacobi, that there is no way of mediating between conditioned and unconditioned, and already makes the distinction between ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ philosophy, which will form the heart of his late work. Explicating the structure of the finite world leads to ‘negative philosophy, but much has already been gained by the fact that the negative, the realm of nothingness, has been separated by a sharp limit from the realm of reality and of what alone is positive’. The question which comes to concern Schelling is how philosophy can come to terms with a ground which cannot be regarded as the rational explanation of the finite world' (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). PROVENANCE: from the library of the statesman Wilhelm Ludwig Leopold Freiherr von Berstett (1769-1837), with his bookplate. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 8vo, vi, 80 pp., contemporary wrappers, dog-eared and with tears at edges, expected loss at spine, internally good and clean, a sound copy with very wide margins, uncut.
Commentaire philosophique sur ces paroles de Jésus-Christ: Contrains-les d'entrer

Commentaire philosophique sur ces paroles de Jésus-Christ: Contrains-les d’entrer, Ou l’on prouve par plusieurs raisons démonstratives qu’il n’y a rien de plus-abominable que de faire des conversions par la contrainte, & l’on refute tous les sophismes des convertisseurs a contrainte, & l’apologie que S. Augustine à faite des persécutions. Canterbury (supplement, Hamburg) [i.e. both Netherlands]: Thomas Litwel, 1686, 1687, 1688.

BAYLE, Pierre The Commentaire philosophique (two parts, vol. 1), the third part on St Augustine (vol. 3), and the Supplement (vol. 2), all in first edition. This is Bayle's forceful and important argument for universal religious tolerance, written in the wake of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. It purports to be a translation from the English of one 'Jean Fox de Bruggs', and to be published at 'Cantorbery'. The Biblical quotation in the title is from Luke 14, verse 23: 'And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled' - words that had traditionally been used to justify forced conversions. '[These words] could be piously proclaimed by any of the rival churches so that were Christ's admonition here to be understood literally, Bayle observes, all Christian sects would be absolutely justified - and all equally so - in attacking and endeavouring to slaughter and exterminate the rest, resulting in a vast and manifestly irrational state of violence, devastation, misery and hatred. Bayle's toleration theory, in other words, rests squarely on the pseudo-fideist argument that there is no way rationally to ascertain which is the true faith - or whether there is a true faith. This argument provides the basis of Bayle's famous doctrine of the conscience errante' (Jonathan Israel, The biannual Pierre Bayle Lecture, Rotterdam, December 2004). PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 3 parts and the supplement in 3 volumes, 12mo, lxx, [xxxii], 192, [iv], 193-584; lxviii], 395, [1]; [ii], 233, [31] pp., contemporary panelled calf, rubbed, spines gilt in compartments with loss to the lower ends of vols 2 and (particularly) 3, library stamps crossed through on title-page versos, final leaves and one page in the middle of each volume, the first title-page waterstained, elsewhere occasional spots and other small blemishes, generally a good set, very seldom found together.
Observations concerning the Distinction of Ranks in Society. London: Printed by W. and J. Richardson

Observations concerning the Distinction of Ranks in Society. London: Printed by W. and J. Richardson, for John Murray, 1771.

MILLAR, John First edition of the most important work by John Millar ( 1735-1801), pupil and friend of Adam Smith, and one of the first proponents of economic determinism. Here he puts forward the proto-Marxian view that the economic base determines all social relations, including those between men and women. 'The Distinction of Ranks is one of the major products of the Scottish Enlightenment and a masterpiece of jurisprudence and social theory. Building on Hume, Adam Smith, and their respective natural histories of man, Millar developed a progressive account of the nature of authority in society by analyzing changes in subsistence, agriculture, arts, and manufacture. [It] is perhaps the most precise and compact development of the abiding themes of the liberal wing of the Scottish Enlightenment. Drawing on Smith’s four-stages theory of history and the natural law’s traditional division of domestic duties into those toward servants, children, and women, Millar provides a rich historical analysis of the ways in which progressive economic change transforms the nature of authority. In particular, he argues that, with the progress of arts and manufacture, authority tends to become less violent and concentrated, and ranks tend to diversify. Millar’s analysis of this historical progress is nuanced and sophisticated; for example, his discussion of servants is perhaps the best developed of the “economic” arguments against slavery' (Aaron Garrett, Introduction to the Liberty Fund edition, 2006). PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 4to, [ii], xv, [ii], 242, [2] pp., later cloth-backed boards, scattered light spotting and occasional marks, ownership signatures and bookplate of T.B. Grierson, a very good copy.
Der Streit der Facultäten in drey Abschnitten von Immanuel Kant. Königsberg: Friedrich Nicolovius

Der Streit der Facultäten in drey Abschnitten von Immanuel Kant. Königsberg: Friedrich Nicolovius, 1798.

KANT, Immanuel First edition. This book brought together three essays previously written by Kant but blocked by the Religionsexaminations-Kommission headed by the Prussian censor-in-chief, Johan Christoph Wöllner. Following the death of Frederick Willhelm II in November 1797 and the consequent sacking of Wöllner, their publication as "The Conflict of the Faculties" became possible. In the Introduction Kant gives the full text of a 1794 letter of reprimand by Frederick Willhelm and his own answer. He also rejoices that there is now enlightened government again, releasing the human spirit from its chains. 'What follows is a mixed bag. Even though Kant tried to unify these three disparate themes into a book, it is only the first essay [on the relation between the philosophical and the theological faculties] that deals with such a conflict. The second is indeed an interesting essay [on whether the human race is progressing] but whether it amounts to a discussion of the relation between the faculty of philosophy and the faculty of law may be doubted. The third essay [ostensibly on the conflict between philosophy and medicine] is highly interesting for understanding Kant's own view of life and death' (Kuehn, Kant, A Biography, pp. 404-6). Warda 193, Adickes 96a. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 8vo, xxx, 205 pp., contemporary blue boards, rubbed, spine somewhat darkened with red label lettered gilt and shelf sticker, bookplate on front pastedown, uniform light browning and occasional spots, no stamps or inscriptions, a good copy, from the library of the statesman Wilhelm Ludwig Leopold Freiherr von Berstett (1769-1837), with his bookplate.
Berlinische Monatsschrift. Herausgegeben von F. Gedike und J.E. Biester. Berlin: Unger und Haude und Spener

Berlinische Monatsschrift. Herausgegeben von F. Gedike und J.E. Biester. Berlin: Unger und Haude und Spener, 1783-96.

KANT, Immanuel (F. Gedike und J. E. Biester, eds) 28 volumes, complete. The Berlinische Monatsschrift was the main publication spreading the Enlightenment in Germany. It was the organ of the Mittwochsgesellschaft - the Berlin Wednesday Society - a secret group of Friends of Enlightenment whose members included Johann Friedrich Zöllner and Moses Mendelssohn, as well as the Monatsschrift editors, Gedike and Biester. The monthly magazine's 168 issues came out between 1783 and 1796. FIFTEEN ESSAYS BY IMMANUEL KANT made their first appearance in its pages (please see the list in our images), most famously his answer to Zöllner's question What is Enlightenment? in the December 1784 issue (Volume 4). The journal was published monthly in blue paper covers, with six issues making up each Volume. This set originates from different libraries and collectors, hence the variety of the contemporary bindings. The final volume contains the publishers unpaginated Abschiedsblatt, or farewell leaf, which is missing in the other copies we have seen. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 28 volumes [all published], 8vo, in various contemporary bindings, rubbed and with wear in places, eight volumes with the original blue wrappers bound in, all but two with the portrait frontispieces, Vol. 2 with a worm trace on the spine, browning and a little underlining, internal condition of the other volumes ranging from good to very good, with occasional dampstaining, a rich historical and scholarly resource, hardly ever offered for sale complete.
The Works. Illustrated Library Edition. London: Chapman and Hall

The Works. Illustrated Library Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1874-6.

DICKENS, Charles First luxury edition of Dickens's works, complete in 30 volumes. 'The Library Edition came about largely because of the suggestion of Forster that while Dickens's works were available in volumes in the Cheap Edition and in reprints of the serial parts, there was no high-quality edition that would appeal to the wealthy. Dickens eventually came round to the idea that an elegant edition could raise the stature of his writings. He faced a complication, in that the rights to the works were divided between Chapman and Hall and Bradbury and Evans. Consequently, the volumes contained the imprints of both publishers. With a dedication to Forster, the Library Edition appeared in 22 volumes in 1858-9 at 7s 6d per volume . Titles included Pickwick, Nickleby, Chuzzlewit, Old Curiosity Shop, Reprinted Pieces, Barnaby Rudge, Hard Times, Sketches by Boz, Oliver Twist, Dombey, Copperfield, Pictures from Italy, Bleak House, Little Dorrit, and Christmas Books. The only illustrations were the frontispieces. Between 1861 and 1874 this edition was reissued in 30 volumes with the addition of Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend, The Uncommercial Traveller, A Child's History of England, Christmas Stories, and Drood. The reissue contained illustrations - the frontispieces plus additional illustrations by artists such as Marcus Stone, John Leech, and Clarkson Stanfield - and came to be known as the Illustrated Library Edition. Recognizing the continuing potential for sales of Dickens's works, Chapman and Hall in 1873 published a prospectus for the Second Illustrated Library Edition, containing, they contended, all the works the novelist wished to preserve. Calling it the first well-printed issue, with specially cast type and better paper than that used in previous editions, this set was published in 30 volumes between 1873 [in fact 1874] and 1876 and sold at £15 for the set, a high price for the time' (Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens, pp. 205-206). PROVENANCE: from the library of the merchant banker Maurice Moses (1822-98), who in 1868 changed his surname to Beddington. The family lived in a large house by Hyde Park in central London. This set was inherited by his daughter Beatrice Beddington, who around 1900 moved to Winchelsea in Sussex, where among her friends were Ellen Terry and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. She in turn bequeathed the set to a friend, in whose family it has been ever since and on whose behalf we are offering it for sale. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 30 volumes, large 8vo [210 x 135 mm] with the original illustrations throughout, contemporary half calf over marbled boards, spines gilt in six compartments with raised bands and contrasting morocco labels, rubbed and with a few light scuffs, chipping to some headcaps, marbled edges and endpapers with bookplates, isolated light foxing mainly confined to a few endpapers, Vol. 27 'Our Mutual Friend' with a patch of damp corrosion to rear edge of upper board affecting outer margins of first 50 or so pages (the only significant flaw, please see image), otherwise a single leaf loose in Vol. 14 and the upper joint of Vol. 29 superficially a little ragged but firm, generally a sound and attractive set.
Rettung der Rechte des Weibes mit Bemerkungen über politische und moralische Gegenstände. Aus dem Englischen übersetzt. Mit einigen Anmerkungen von Christian Gotthilf Salzmann. Schnepfenthal: in Verlags der Erziehungsanstalt

Rettung der Rechte des Weibes mit Bemerkungen über politische und moralische Gegenstände. Aus dem Englischen übersetzt. Mit einigen Anmerkungen von Christian Gotthilf Salzmann. Schnepfenthal: in Verlags der Erziehungsanstalt, 1793-4.

WOLLSTONECRAFT, Mary First German edition of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792). The translator was G.F.C. Weissenborn, but the work was published and edited by Christian Gotthilf Salzmann (1744–1811), founder of the Schnepfenthal institution, a school dedicated to progressive modes of education derived chiefly from the ideas of Rousseau. His main book was Moralisches Elementarbuch. This 'domestic history' whose episodes were designed for the instruction of both children and parents, first came to the attention of Mary Wollstonecraft in 1789. Finding Salzmann's views very close to those which were then developing in her own mind, she secured a German grammar, and set about producing an English version, which duly appeared in two volumes in 1790 as Elements of Morality. No correspondence survives between Salzmann and Wollstonecraft, but it has long been recognised that Salzmann was pleased by the English text. He subsequently published this translation of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, with a preface and notes; he also produced a German version of Godwin's Memoirs. Exceedingly uncommon. Windle A5v. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 2 volumes, 12mo, xx, [iv], 336; vi, 393 pp., contemporary half calf, spines gilt-ruled, sides rubbed, spine labels missing, title-pages with stamps and early inscriptions, worming in lower margins of vol. II, mostly limited to a single hole in the extreme inner margin, but extending into the lower part of the text in the last forty leaves, some waterstaining, mainly confined to the margins but affecting text on a few leaves in vol. I.
Posthumous Works of Mr. John Locke: Viz. I. Of the Conduct of the Understanding. II. An Examination of P. Malebranche's Opinion of Seeing all things in God. III. A Discourse of Miracles. IV. Part of a Fourth Letter for Toleration. V. Memoirs relating to the Life of Anthony first Earl of Shaftsbury. To which is added

Posthumous Works of Mr. John Locke: Viz. I. Of the Conduct of the Understanding. II. An Examination of P. Malebranche’s Opinion of Seeing all things in God. III. A Discourse of Miracles. IV. Part of a Fourth Letter for Toleration. V. Memoirs relating to the Life of Anthony first Earl of Shaftsbury. To which is added, VI. His New Method of a Common-Place Book, written originally in French, and now translated into English. London. A. and J. Churchill, 1706.

LOCKE, John First edition of the posthumous works of John Locke, containing first printings of six pieces unpublished in his lifetime, but which Locke himself felt deserved publication. The collection was brought out two years after Locke's death by his literary executors Anthony Collins and Sir Peter King. The longest and most important of them is 'Of the Conduct of the Understanding' (pp. 1-137), originally intended by Locke to be 'the largest chapter in my Essay'. It rapidly became popular, and was separately printed at least nine times before 1800 besides being translated into Dutch, German, French and Italian. These 'posthumous' materials are included in all Works editions. Attig 724; Yolton 299. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 8vo, [iv], 336 pp., contemporary panelled calf, spine in compartments with red morocco label, rubbed, joints and a small scar restored some time ago (a little flaking visible beside the label), top margin with some light soiling in a few places, otherwise fresh and unbrowned, with no stamps or inscriptions, a very good copy.
Théorie des sentimens moraux

Théorie des sentimens moraux, suivi d’une dissertation sur l’origine des langues. Traduit d’anglais, sur la septième et dernière édition, par S. Grouchy Ve. Condorcet. Elle y a joint huit lettres sur la sympathie. Paris: F. Buisson, 1798.

SMITH, Adam First edition. Jessop, p. 171; Vanderblue, p. 41. 'Sophie de Grouchy's translation was not the first attempt to spread Smith's moral philosophy across France. However, the previous two French translations had not met with success. The first, by Marc-Antoine Eidous and entitled Métaphysique de l âme (1764), was unanimously criticized for its poor quality. Smith himself held it responsible for the poor reception of his work across the Channel. The second translation (1774 45) by Jean-Louis Blavet was also considered mediocre and does not seem to have been widely distributed. In stark contrast, Grouchy's translation was praised for its accuracy from the moment it was published. It was so successful that it has been viewed for two centuries as the definitive French translation of the TMS. Grouchy is even sometimes considered Smith's best-known contemporary translator . Its intrinsic qualities apart, the enduring success of Grouchy's translation might be attributed to three others factors. The most obvious of these is the celebrity of Sophie and her husband, Nicolas de Condorcet, as a couple. Their salon, attended by many French philosophers and foreign visitors, was one of the most prominent and progressive in Paris from 1786 until the Reign of Terror. Next, Grouchy's was the first translation into French of the definitive version of Smith's moral philosophy. She translated the posthumous seventh edition of the TMS, which was identical to the sixth edition published in 1790 and the last published during Smith's lifetime and in which he had made substantial revisions and additions. Lastly, and most importantly, Grouchy's work is more than a mere translation since she added a critical commentary on Smith's analysis written in epistolary style and entitled Lettres sur la sympathie. This critical commentary is composed of eight letters addressed to an anonymous Mon cher C*** , who was presumably her stepbrother, the physiologist and philosopher Pierre Jean Georges Cabanis. Thus, Grouchy deserves attention from academics not only for her translation of the TMS but also for her own scholarly and philosophical contribution' (Laurie Bréban, Jean Dellemotte, From one form of Sympathy to another: Sophie de Grouchy s translation of and commentary on Adam Smith s Theory of Moral Sentiments, History of Political Economy (2017) 49 (4): 667-707). PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 2 volumes, 8vo, viii, 466; [iv], 511 pp., contemporary tree calf, spines decorated gilt in compartments with red and green morocco labels, rubbed and with slight loss to spine ends of second volume, decorative endpapers, title-pages with library stamp, some sections with uniform light browning, elsewhere scattered light foxing and isolated spots, one leaf with a closed tear in lower margin (Vol. 1, Ff8), overall a very good copy.