British & Continental Philosophy

(June 2000)

 

BARRATT, ALFRED. Physical Ethics or the Science of Action. An Essay. London & Edinburgh: Williams & Norgate, 1869. 1st ed. 8vo. vi, 387 pp. Orig. cloth a bit darkened, light wear to corners. Faint dampmarking to lower edge of endpapers, text very good but with scattered scoring and occasional notes in pencil throughout, beginning to crack at page 134 but still firm. Withal, a sound and not unattractive copy, with faint stamp "From the Publishers" on front flyleaf. $125.00 Barratt (1844-1881) was something of a polymath, "achieving the unequalled distinction of five first classes 'within four years and two months' from beginning residence" at Balliol College, Oxford. "The book on 'Physical Ethics' is a remarkable performance for a youth of twenty-four, showing wide reading and marked literary power. The leading idea is the unity of all knowledge and the necessity of bringing ethics into harmony with the physical sciences. The theory resembles, though in certain points it diverges from, that of Mr. Herbert Spencer, whom the author recognizes as 'the greatest philosopher of the age.' Barratt describes himself as an egoist, and in a vigorous article called 'The Suppression of Egoism' defends his theory against Mr. Sidgwick."--Leslie Stephen, in DNB. Barratt's only other book, Physical Metempiric was edited by Carveth Read and published posthumously (1883); both books are decidedly uncommon.

BLAKEY, ROBERT. An Essay Towards an Easy and Useful System of Logic. London: James Duncan, 1834. 1st ed. 12mo. x, [2], 170 pp., plus errata leaf and 3 leaves of ads for other Blakey titles at end. Orig. cloth, spine direct-lettered in gilt. Corners of a couple of leaves creased. An excellent copy. $100.00 Blakey (1795-1878) is probably best remembered today as the author of a number of desirable angling books, but he was a serious philosopher who studied in France and did research on scholastic texts in the libraries of Belguim (see DNB). In 1848 he was appointed to the chair of logic and metaphysics at Queens College, Belfast. In addition to the present work he published A History of Moral Science (2 vols, 1833), an elaborate History of Mind (4 vols, 1848), a Sketch of the History of Logic (1851), and several other philosophical works. The Venn Collection (page 114) had only the second edition (1848) of the present work (which was, however, augmented with "an alphabetical list of upwards of one thousand works on logic"). RLIN records only the Harvard copy of this 1834 edition.

BRENTANO, FRANZ. Von Ursprung sittlicher Erkenntnis. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, 1889. 1st ed. Tall 8vo. xii, 122 pp., plus leaf of publisher's ads. Later plain, stiff paper wraps. Very good, untrimmed. $150.00 Brentano (1838-1917) is virtually unique among philosophers in that his work exercised considerable influence on the development of both Phenomenology and modern analytic philosophy. (Husserl was a student and Russell was influenced, in particular, by Brentano's Theory of Objects.) This, the principal statement of Brentano's views on ethics, was translated as The Origin of Our Knowledge of Right and Wrong (London 1902).

FISCHER, KUNO. Kant's Leben und die Grundlagen seiner Lehre. Drei Vorträge. Mannheim: Friedrich Bassermann, 1860. 1st ed. 8vo. x, [2], 159. Original mustard-yellow printed wraps. Wrappers with some small chips and tears at edges, spine broken and neatly repaired, a couple of leaves in middle of text loose. Untrimmed. $150.00 The Encyclopedia of Philosophy calls this "the first large German monograph on Kant...and it is from Fischer that Neo-Kantianism received its decisive impulse." Elsewhere in EP, Lewis White Beck, calling Fischer "the greatest historian of philosophy at that time" refers to this as a "monumental book...that presented, in a form still useful although outmoded in details, a picture...that could not but excite interest in and study of Kant." A more than acceptable copy of this important work, and scarce in wraps.

FOUILLÉE, ALFRED. La Psychologie des Idées-Forces. Paris: Germer Balliere et Cie. Felix Alcan, Editeur, 1893. 1st ed. 8vo. 2 vols. xl, 365; [4], 415 pp. Cont. ¼ leather and cloth. Spines scuffed, sheets rather toned (as usual). Very sound. $75.00 "Fouillée's outstanding and most original contribution to this exercise [of attempting to reconcile philosophic idealism with scientific naturalism] was the idea that thought could lead to action, which he embodied in the concept of idee-force, or "thought force." This concept contains in itself the essence of Fouillée's consciously eclectic, conciliatary method and aim, for it borrows the notion of "force" from contemporary physical science and applies it to mental states, to consciousness."--EP, calling this "perhaps the [author's] central work." Widely read in his day, Fouillée's ideas had little lasting influence, save on the thought of his stepson, M.J. Guyau.

FREGE, DR. G[OTTLOB]. Die Grundlagen der Arithmetik. Eine logisch matematische Untersuchung über den Begriff der Zahl. Unveränderter Neudruck der Ausgabe von 1884. Breslau: M. & H. Marcus, 1934. 8vo. [12], 119 pp. Orig. dark green, stiff printed wraps, spine slightly faded. Fine. $400.00 The second printing, on the fiftieth anniversary of its original publication, of the most accessible and philosophical of Frege's works. "In order to provide a preliminary account of his view of arithmetic Frege wrote Grundlagen. It is in this book that he appeared for the first time, and to best advantage, as a philosopher and not merely as a logician.... This account [of the nature of arithmetic] was deliberately formulated without the use of symbolism (other than letters for variables). The work is fascinating even for those quite uninterested in the philosophy of mathematics, since in the course of it many ideas are represented which are of significance for the whole of philosophy."--Michael Dummett, in EP.  

HEGEL, GEORG WILHELM FRIEDRICH. Encyclopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften im Grundrisse. Zum Gebrauch siener Vorlesungen.... Dritte Auflage. Heidelberg: Osswald'schen Verlag (C.F. Winter), 1830. lviii [i.e. lvi], 600 pp. Cont. paste-paper boards, title direct-lettered in gilt on spine. Wear to corners and spine extremities, upper hinge slightly tender but still firm. Small (½"), clean tear at lower corner of title, scattered foxing throughout, mostly confined to margins. Neat ownership signature dated 1835 on front flyleaf. A solid, serviceable copy. $675.00 An important edition, the last published during Hegel's lifetime, and considerably corrected and revised. It is intended as a compendium of Hegel's system to be used in conjunction with his lectures. First published in 1817, a much augmented second edition appeared in 1827. "The third edition (1830) is basically very similar to the second, though there now are three prefaces, 577 paragraphs instead of 574, and a few more pages as well. On close examination, however, one discovers literally thousands of changes [Nicolin and Pöggeler catalogued 3600]. Even in his approach to this most cut-and-dried of his books, Hegel until right before his death was not by any means a man who had stopped thinking and re-thinking."--Kaufmann, Hegel: A Reinterpretation. Hegel used this third edition of the Encyclopädie in his lectures of 1830 and 1831. Following his death it was re-issued as part of the collected works, the editors supplementing the text with voluminous Zusätze, expanding the work to 3 volumes and more than 1600 pages. It was this edited version which became standard and it is Kaufmann's contention that the additions have distorted, or at the very least, obscured, the text and (as also with most of Hegel's other works) that they have misled students of Hegel. If one accepts Kaufmann's thesis, this third edition is "definitive" and thus of crucial importance to Hegel scholarship. RLIN records copies at Dartmouth, Harvard and N.Y.U.

(LA METTRIE.) BOERHAAVE, HERMAN. Aphorismes...sur la Connaissance et la Cure de Maladies, Traduit en Français par *** [J.O. La Mettrie]. Paris: Huarte & Briasson, 1739. 12mo. (16.4 cm). [14], 560 pp. Cont. sheep, spine gilt with red leather label, edges speckled red, marbled endpapers. Spine ends slightly rubbed, small wear to corners. Sheets with light toning, "Preface" and "Table de Chapitres" (pp. v-x), and "Corrections and Additions" (pp. 509-512) a bit more browned. An excellent copy. $750.00 Second edition, comprising sheets of the Rennes 1738 edition with new titlepage, dedication, "approbation" and a lengthy (pp. 513-560) index. Stoddard 6, recording copies of this 1739 edition at the National Library of Medicine, Countway Library (Harvard Medical School), and the Wellcome Library. The present copy has the misprint 105 at page 205 and I³ unsigned. Additionally, this copy has page 211 misprinted 111. La Mettrie was a student of Boerhaave at Leyden. Upon his return to France La Mettrie made a point of spreading the Boerhaavian system, translating and annotating a number of works by Boerhaave. The Aphorismes, while based on Boerhaave's system of physiology, is a practical, pragmatic work based on his own observation and utilizing ideas of schools (rival physiologists, iatrochemists) of which Boerhaave was highly critical in theory. It was precisely this empircal, pragmatic, epistemologically modest approach which appealed to La Mettrie. Indeed, despite his immense admiration for Boerhaave, La Mettrie used this methodology to dissent from his teacher. As Wellman demonstrates in her excellent recent (1992) study, La Mettrie was principally motivated not by scientific doctrine (materialism, atomism, &c.) or philosophic doctrine (sensualism, atheism), but by the desire for medical reform. All of his works--medical satires, medical treatises and translations, and the "philosophical" works--seek this aim, by undermining the medical establishment, by reforming medical education and practice, and by enlightening the public.

(LA METTRIE.) DU BOIS-REYMOND, EMIL La Mettrie. Rede in der Öffentlichen Sitzung der Königl. Preuss. Akademie der Wissenschaften zur Gedächtnissfeier Friedrich's II. am 28 Januar 1875. Berlin: August Hirschwald, 1875. 1st sep. ed. 8vo. 38, [1] pp. Orig. printed wraps. Small stamp on verso of front wrap, sheets uniformly browned. Very good. $150.00 The first book-length study of La Mettrie, by Paquet, appeared in 1873. "Shortly thereafter, Du Bois-Reymond, the well-known German physiologist, delivered before the Prussian Academy of Sciences an incisive oration on La Mettrie, in which the erstwhile member of that learned society was hailed as an early founder of the monistic conception of things which...typified the spirit and methodology of modern science."--Vartanian.

TOOKE, JOHN HORNE. Epea Pteroenta [Greek letter]. Or, the Diversions of Purley. Second [-First ] Edition. London, for the author, 1798 [-1805]. 2 vols. 4to. [8], 534; [8], 516, [36 (index)] pp. With engraved frontispiece by W. Sharp, & 1 plate, plus two additional engraved portraits of the author inserted. Contemporary calf, neatly rebacked, edges and corners a bit worn and dry. Some notes neatly penned on endpapers by an early owner. Very good. $375.00 A work which exercised considerable influence on nineteenth century British philology and philosophy (e.g. Mackintosh, Hazlitt, Stewart and James Mill). Volume I contains a chapter on Locke's Essay: "Locke, he said, made a happy mistake when he called his book an essay on human understanding, instead of an essay upon grammar. Horne Tooke, in fact, was a thorough nominalist after the fashion of Hobbes; he ridiculed the 'Hermes' of Harris, and Monboddo, who tried to revive Aristotelian logic...."--DNB.

 

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