Edinburgh: Printed for A. Strahan and T. Cadell, London, 1792. First edition of the last important work by the author of the sociological classic, An Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767). Though there are a number of copies of this book in older libraries, it has become scarce on the market, with only two copies appearing at auction since 1975 (both in 1992). A little light smudging or browning to some leaves. A very good copy. Rebound in half brown calf over marbled boards, gilt spine with burgundy morocco labels, new endpapers. Edges sprinkled red. Two volumes, quarto. pp. xi, [1, blank], 339, ; pp. [iii]-vii, , 512 pp. Complete with half-titles. Item #14816
Adam Ferguson (1723-1816) was educated at St. Leonard’s College at St. Andrews and the University of Edinburgh. After spending time in the army and as a minister of the Church of Scotland, he worked as a tutor and briefly as a librarian before becoming a professor at the College of Edinburgh. His masterpiece, An Essay on the History of Civil Society, brought him an international reputation, with James Boswell, Baron d'Holbach, Lord Kames, Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi., and Karl Marx being among its admirers. It was of particular interest to economists because of the clear exposition of the principles of the division of labor in economics and society. The present work was published after he retired. Based upon his lectures it “has the best claim to be considered his most mature reflections on moral philosophy” (David Raynor in the Dictionary of Eighteenth-Century British Philosophers).
Jessop, p. 122.