ESSAYS ON PHILOSOPHICAL SUBJECTS, by Adam Smith - 1795 [1st Dublin Ed.]


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Essays on Philosophical Subjects

by Adam Smith

with an Account of the Life and Writings of the Author by Dugald Stewart

First Dublin edition.  Dublin:  Printed for Messrs. Wogan, Byrne, J. Moore, Colbert, Rice, W. Jones, Porter, and Folingsby, 1795

Hardback is overall in VERY GOOD condition.

  • Expertly rebound in glove calf leather with stamped borders, spine label with gilt text. 
  • Restored binding is secure.  
  • Original end papers have some repairs to edgewear, an owner signature.  See photos. 
  • Interior has been professionally de-acidified.  Pages have a few marks, penciled marginal brackets at pg. lxxxiv-lxxxv.  See photos. 
  • Text block edges are untrimmed, have a few marks. 
  • PS2023.1025

455 total pages. 4.75 x 8.25 inches

Adam Smith (1723-1790) chose his friends James Black and William Hutton as his literary executors, after first forcing them to burn sixteen volumes of his manuscripts before his death. The essays collected in this volume discuss "The Principles which lead and direct Philosophical Enquiries," illustrated by the history of astronomy, ancient physics and ancient logic and metaphysics; the nature of imitation in the imitative arts; the affinity between music, dancing and poetry, and between certain English and Italian verses; the five "external senses" (Touching, Tasting, Smelling, Hearing, Seeing). 

In their prefatory Advertisement, the editors explain that these essays appeared to be parts of a plan Smith had once formed for a connected history of the liberal sciences and elegant arts.  That plan was abandoned as far too extensive, and so these parts of it were neglected until his death.

The account of the life and writings of Adam Smith by Dugald Stewart (1753-1828) was originally delivered as lectures at the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 28 January and 18 March 1793 and published in their Transactions in 1794.  This account (the first 123 pages of the book) is one of the earliest biographical notices of the life of Adam Smith. 

A beautiful restoration, with de-acidified pages, repairs to feps, and full calf binding that remains faithful to the book's original date of publication. 

First Dublin edition, same year as the first London edition, 1795. 

AS IS! Please see photos. More photos available upon request.

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