A Londres; & se vend a Paris: Chez de Bure l’aîné…, 1754. First edition of the most comprehensive and best known work of Condillac (1714-80), French follower of Locke and Newton. Condillac’s philosophy of sensationism—that all knowledge is based on the senses—refuted Berkeley’s idealism and anticipated Comte’s positivism. In the present work, Condillac demonstrates his doctrine by imagining a humanoid statue, “organized internally like us, and animated with an intellect devoid of ideas of any sort,” whose marble exterior prevent the use of any of its senses. By unlocking the statue’s senses one by one, Condillac shows how its mind would be generated by the constant addition of more and more sense-experience. His highly original theory of language as the analyst of experience “united philosophical empiricism with the account of behavior (later called utilitarian) that explained it by the preference for pleasure over pain” (DSB). Condillac’s theories influenced the work of Destutt de Tracy, Bonnet, Cabanis, Volney, Garat, Ginguené and others. Binding extremities lightly rubbed, short split to upper joint of Volume I. Generally a very good, clean copy. Contemporary French catspaw calf, gilt-decorated spines with morocco labels, edges stained red. Two volumes, twelvemo. 2], vi, 345; [iv], 335, [1, errata] pp. Woodcut initials and decorations. Item #11798
Garrison and Morton 4968. Heirs of Hippocrates 935. Tchemerzine III, 477.