Basle: 1760. Second edition of this treatise on animal souls, first published in 1756. Aubert (1709-1770) gives a history of the controversy as to whether animals have souls, from classical times. His own conclusion is that they have souls, but that they are inferior souls to those of humans. He regards animals as delightful, but subservient to human beings. Woodcut title-page vignette, headbands and initial letters. A very good copy. Contemporary sheep over paste-paper boards, gilt flat spine, edges stained red. Engraved armorial bookplate dated 1770 on front pastedown (Ex Libris Caroli Ludovici Francisci). Octavo. , 385, , [1, errata] pp. Item #14159
The questions of whether animals possess the capability of reasoning and whether animals have souls has been debated by some of the best minds of all time, including those of Aristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes, Descartes, Locke, and Kant. The associationist psychology of Hartley and Condillac is a direct reaction to this debate. The controversy continues to this day in the work of Peter Singer and other philosophers, writing in the areas of animal rights and human obligations.
OCLC cites three copies of the 1756 edition (Harvard, Oxford and Brown) and three of the present edition (Minnesota, Michigan, and the library of the Musée d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris.