Amsterdam, et se vend à Paris, chez De Bure l’aîné…[et] Ch. Ant. Jombert, 1755. First edition of one of the key works of Condillac (1714-80), French follower of Locke and Newton. The present work is a sequel to Condillac’s most important work, Traité des sensations (1754) and a significant contribution to the literature surrounding the eighteenth-century controversy as to whether animals have souls. Binding extremities rubbed, small splits at joints, but cords sound. A good, clean copy. Contemporary mottled calf, gilt spine with light brown morocco label, edges stained red. Twelvemo. vii, , 232 pp. Item #13462
Refuting the mechanistic views of animals expounded by Buffon and Descartes, “Condillac distinguished between the sensitivity of animals and the intellect of men largely on grounds of the superiority of the information conveyed by the human sense of touch. It is not this part of his doctrine that seems the most impressive historically, however. It is rather that his theory of language as the syntax of experience united philosophical empiricism with the account of behavior (later called utilitarian) that explained it by the preference for pleasure over pain” (Charles C. Gillispie in D.S.B.).
Cioranescu 20315. Quérard II, 267. Tchemerzine III, 474.