DISSERTATION ON THE PROGRESS OF ETHICAL PHILOSOPHY, CHIEFLY DURING THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES
1st Edition, 4to (27cm), (4), 210pp, Inscribed by the author to fly-leaf. ‘From the Author, to Mr Dunn, as a small Proof of the highest Esteem & Regard, May 1830’ Contemporary half calf, boards with restoration to hinges. Original endpapers preserved. Wear and rubbing to covers and leather. Loss to extremities. Spine label with loss, not affecting title. A few smudges and foxing spots, but generally very clean throughout. Some pencil annotations to text and to rear endpaper.
A presentation copy of an excessively scarce first edition. A statement of printing (p.(iii)), dated April 1830, reads: ‘The Dissertation of which this one of a few separate copies taken off for the Author’s friends, forms part of a series of Discourses on the History of the Sciences, prefixed to the Seventh Edition o the Encylopaedia Britannica, now in course of publication.’ Sir James Mackintosh (1765-1832) was a Scottish jurist from Aldourie just outside Inverness. He trained as a doctor and barrister in Edinburgh and Aberdeen Universities but is also remembered for his work as a journalist, judge, administrator, professor, philosopher and politician. Regarding the present work: in a letter to Macvey Napier (the editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, who proposed the dissertation in 1828) he wrote ‘I begin to hope well of my discourse, in which I endeavour to make a development of ethical principles as they historically arose -- a new attempt in our language.’ Not in the NLS. There appear to be at least 8 subsequent printings of this work including two in the US (the last being a ‘fourth edition’ in Edinburgh dated 1872). The only copy I can trace of this private 1830 printing is in the British Library.
Author Sir James MacKintosh
Binding half calf
Publisher Privately Printed, Edinburgh