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The Theory of Moral Sentiments,

or, An Essay towards an Analysis of the Principles by which Men naturally judge concerning the Conduct and Character, first of their Neighbours, and afterwards of themselves. To which is added, A Dissertation on the Origin of Languages.

Stock Code 111253

London, Printed for W. Strahan, J. and F. Rivingon, T. Longman; and T. Cadell in the Strand; and W. Creech at Edinburgh, 1781

Original price £3,000.00 - Original price £3,000.00
Original price £0.00
£3,000.00 - £3,000.00
Current price £3,000.00
Rare lifetime edition of Smith's first book. A handsome, life-time edition of Adam Smith's (d.1790) first published book, and his most important contribution to the study of ethics, The Theory of Moral Sentiments.

It is in this book that Smith first elaborates on his idea that it is 'the impressions of our own senses only' which determines how we relate to eachother, making human sympathy the driving force of human action. As a result, it is 'man's sociability, his basic need for the approval of others, and his capacity to form objective moral codes through social interaction' which underpins the operation of society (ODNB).

One of the rarer lifetime editions, incorporating several minor improvements from the fourth edition of 1774. Smith devoted the years 1755 to 1759 to writing and publishing Moral Sentiments, having been appointed Professor of Logic at Glasgow in 1751 and elected Professor of Moral Philosophy a year later. It was this period at Glasgow College which Smith was later to describe as 'the period of thirteen years which I spent as a member of that society I remember as by far the most useful, and, therefore, as by far the happiest and most honourable period of my life'. First published in 1759, the book immediately established Smith's

Hailed by David Hume in a typically ironic manner: 'I proceed to tell you the melancholy news', he wrote from London, 'that your book has been very unfortunate: for the public seem disposed to applaud it extremely'.

Fifth edition; 8vo (21.5 x 14 cm); dated ownership inscription in pen to front free endpaper, 2pp publisher's ads to rear; contemporary polished sheep, contrasting red morocco title-piece to spine, in 6 gilt-banded compartments, small split to head of lower joint with minor loss to head-cap worn, corners slightly bumped, otherwise internally very clean, a handsome copy; [8],478, [2]pp.

Kress B.425; not in Goldsmith or Einaudi.

Provenance: Collett Rye 1782 (ownership inscription).


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The Theory of Moral Sentiments,

SMITH, Adam.

Stock code: 111253



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