Books for Sale

French Philosophy

ABBADIE, Jacques. L'Art de se Connoitre soy-mesme, ou la Recherche des Sources de la Morale. Rotterdam: Pierre Reinier Leers. 1710. 12mo: two parts in one: [vi], 138; 213 [3] pp. Contemporary calf, gilt decorated spine with raised bands, morocco label, rubbed, small wormhole to front joint.

[70482] £160

First published in 1692. Abbadie (?1654-1727), preacher and writer, was born in Switzerland; he accompanied Marshal Schomberg to England in 1688 and the following year became minister of the French church in the Savoy area of London. His religious treatises had a wide circulation throughout Europe.

Caillet 13.


(ARISTOTLE) CASSANDRE, F. La Rhetorique d'Aristote, traduite en Francois. Nouvelle edition. The Hague: Isaac Vaillant. 1718. 12mo: [xxiv], 490, [26] pp., title printed in red and black with engraved vignette, engraved title bound before A1; with manuscript notes to front endpaper. Contemporary speckled calf, gilt decorated spine, raised bands and contrasting label, chipped at top and bottom of spine, split on front joint.

[56291] £100


BONNET, Charles. Contemplation de la Nature. Amsterdam: Marc-Michel Rey. 1766. Two volumes, small 8vo: [iv], xcv[i], 366; [iv], vii[i], 325[1] pp; occasional minor browning. Contemporary mottled calf, gilt decorated spines with raised bands and contrasting labels, some wear to extremities.

[70483] £280

Charles Bonnet (1720-1793), Swiss naturalist and philosopher. This work was first published in 1764, and translated into Italian, German, English and Dutch; it sets forth the theory that all the beings in nature form a gradual scale rising from the lowest to highest without any break in its continuity. Bonnet has been called "one of the fathers of modern biology".


Source book for Descartes?

BOUJU, Theophraste, Sieur de Beaulieu. Corps de Toute la Philosophie divisé en Deux Parties. La premiere contient tout ce qui appartient à la Sapience, à Scavoir, la Logique, la Physique & la Metaphysique. La seconde contient tout ce qui appartient à la Prudence, à scavoir, la Morale, l'Oeconomique & la Politique. Le tout par demonstration & auctorité d'Aristote, avec esclarcissement de sa doctrine par luy-meme. Paris: Charles Chastellain. 1614. Folio: title-page printed in red and black, with engraved vignette, 1037, [47]; 480, [35] pp., errata leaf; engraved head-pieces, tail-pieces and initial letters; small hole (burn?) in pp.21-24 with loss of a few letters, minor adhesion damage to pp.491-2, some light staining to first and last few leaves. Contemporary blind stamped vellum (lacks ties), somewhat soiled and rubbed, partly split on front joint. First edition.

[55722] £1200

Scarce. Includes Greek texts from Aristotle, with French commentary, and constitutes an early French-language complete philosophy course. Bouju (dates not found) was almoner to Henry IV. "[Bouju] is writing an ordinary philosophy textbook in French (for those not comfortable or not educated in the Latin of the schools). ... Théophraste Bouju, in a work whose title page announces that all of it has the authority of Aristotle, rejected the Aristotelian four elements, discarding the sphere of fire and, as a consequence, argued against the radical heterogeneity of the sub-lunary and supra-lunary spheres. However, he safeguarded the de facto immutability of the heavens. .... Bouju was a Thomist in many respects .... [he] also kept some Averroist elements. Bouju asserted that place is movable per se in what he called 'lieu de situation' and per accidens in what he called 'lieu environnant'. .... The discussion of ideas in Bouju's Philosophy is fairly standard. Enumerating the four Aristotelian causes, Bouju adds an account of 'exemplary causation'. Ideas are routinely identified with exemplars, either Platonic ideas or ideas in God's mind, and the question discussed is, whether in serving as models for creation, ideas as exemplars cause the things that imitate them in some fifth way. Further, the physician has an idea of health, the architect in building a house tried to make it like the one 'he has in his mind', and so on. Bouju is echoing a well-established Scholastic-Aristotelian tradition, in which ideas are either the forms in God's mind according to which he makes things, or the exemplars in artificers' minds when they make their artefacts. Ideas as exemplars, however, are not strictly psychological. They are forms which are in general, not particular, patterns to be followed in this or that case, rather than particular mental events (Bouju 1614 I:297-8)." Roger Ariew, "Descartes and the Last Scholastics", and in "Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy".


BÜCHNER, Louis. Science et Nature, Essais de Philosophie et de Science Naturelle. Traduit de l'Allemand, avec autorisation de l'auteur, par Augustin Delondre. Paris: Germer Ballière. 1866. Small 8vo, two volumes in one: viii, 231[1]; [iv], 241[1] pp; scattered foxing. Contemporary red quarter morocco gilt with marbled boards.

[56367] £50


[BURLAMAQUI, Jean Jacques]. Principes du Droit Politique. Amsterdam: Zacharie Chatelain. 1751. Two volumes: [ii], 303 [5]; [ii], 220 [4] pp; minor worming to top inner gutter of first few leaves in volume 1; uncut; contents clean and fresh. Bound in original Dutch paper-covered boards with floral pattern, rubbed at edges, backstrips deficient, but generally attractive. First edition.

[56253] £700

One of the two chief works of Jean Jacques Burlamaqui (1694-1748), the other being "Principes du droit naturel" (1747). Burlamaqui attempted to demonstrate the reality of natural law by tracing its origin in God's rule and in human reason and moral instinct; he believed that both international and domestic law were based on natural law.


COMTE, Auguste. Appel aux Conservateurs. Paris: chez l'Auteur … et chez Victor Dalmont. August 1855. xxxi, 136 pp., 3 folding tables; original printed wrappers bound in, also extra blank leaves bound in - some with pencilled notes; all edges gilt. Later good-quality dark green morocco gilt by P. Delacour, a little rubbed at extremities; a handsome copy. First edition.

[73526] £160


COMTE, Auguste. Catéchisme Positiviste, ou Sommaire Exposition de la Religion Universelle, en Onze Entretiens Systématiques entre une Femme et un Pretre de l'Humanité. Paris: chez l'Auteur et Carilian-Goeury & Vor Dalmont. October 1852. xli[i], 5[1] pp. ads., 388 pp., 3 folding tables plus 2 single-page; some foxing; untrimmed. Bound in later cloth, rubbed and some wear, partially split on front joint, with original printed wrappers bound in. First edition.

[73523] £200

Comte's self-published work, which interrupted the writing of 'System of Positive Polity' (1851-54).


COMTE, Auguste. Lettres a des Positivistes Anglais. London: Church of Humanity. 1889. Small 8vo: 94 pp., original printed front wrapper bound in, all edges gilt. Contemporary (or slightly later) good quality dark green morocco gilt, a little rubbed on spine. First edition.

[73520] £100

Comprises 30 letters sent between 1855 and 1869 - 27 to John Fisher, 2 to Alexander J. Ellis, and one to "un Positiviste Anglais".


COMTE, Auguste. Lettres d'Auguste Comte a John Stuart Mill 1841-1846. Paris: Ernest Leroux. 1877. x, 462 pp; all edges gilt. Later good-quality dark green morocco gilt by P. Delacour, a little rubbed at extremities; overall a handsome copy. First edition.

[73522] £120

"The correspondence ….. which lasted from 1841 to 1846, is of considerable philosophical interest. In his first letter, Mill presents himself almost as a follower of Comte and recalls how, some ten years before, it had been the reading of Comte's 1822 work that had liberated him from the influence of Bentham. But the tone of the letters, while remaining friendly, soon changes. Mill does not hesitate to voice objections to the exclusion of psychology from the classification of the sciences and to Comte's conception of biology. In particular, Mill had strong reservations about Gall's phrenology, while Comte endorsed it, and proposed to replace it by ethology. Their disagreements crystallize around ‘la question féminine’,that is the status of women in society, where it is possible to see how epistemological and political considerations are linked (Guillin 2007)."


COMTE, Auguste. Lettres d'Auguste Comte a M. Valat, Professeur de Mathématiques … 1815-1844. Paris: Dunod. July 1870. vii, 350[2] pp; all edges gilt. Contemporary good-quality dark green morocco gilt by P. Delacour, slightly rubbed, a handsome copy. First edition.

[73525] £120

The change in Comte’s personal feelings toward Saint-Simon can best be followed in his correspondence with his friend Valat (1870), which shows how much he was initially stimulated by Saint-Simon and how he later withdrew from the relationship. One difference was revealed by Comte himself in his correspondence with Valat when he asserted that Saint-Simon’s advocacy of political action before the scientific system of positivism had been sufficiently developed was putting the cart before the horse.


COMTE, Auguste. Systeme de Politique Positive, ou Traité de Sociologie, instituant la Religion de l'Humanité. Paris: Carilian-Goeury & Vor Dalmont/[P. Larousse et Cie]. 1851-1854 [reprinted 1879-1883]. Four volumes: [iv], 24, xl, 748; xxxv, 472[4]; l, 624[2]; xxxviii[ii], 566, iv, 228[2], 36 pp., folding tables; occasional manuscript notes to endpapers; all edges gilt. Near contemporary good-quality dark green morocco gilt by P. Delacour, raised bands, rubbed, chipped at toop and bottom of spines.

[73527] £375

The 'Appendice Général' is separately paginated within vol. IV.


COMTE, Auguste. Traité Elémentaire de Géométrie Analytique a deux et a trois dimensions, contenant toutes les théories générales de géeométrie accessibles a l'analyse ordinaire. Paris: Carilian-Goeury & Vor Dalmont, editeurs. Imprimerie de Fain et Thunot. 1843. viii, 598 pp., plus 3 folding tables; some scattered foxing or light browning; all edges gilt. Later good-quality dark green morocco gilt by P. Delacour, slightly rubbed at extremities. First edition.

[73521] £300

Comte's only mathematical work.


COMTE, Auguste. Traité Philosophique d'Astronomie Populaire, ou Exposition Systématique de toutes les notions de philosophie astronomique, soit scientifiques, soit logiques, qui doivent devenir universellement familieres. Paris: Carilian-Goeury & Vor Dalmont, éditeurs/Fain & Thunot. 1844. x, 486 pp. plus folding table, scattered foxing; all edges gilt. Later good-quality dark green morocco gilt by P. Delacour, slightly rubbed. First edition.

[73524] £135

Prefaced with 'Sur l'Esprit Positif' (108 pp.) - this discourse marked a sharp change of direction by its emphasis on the moral dimension of the new philosophy: now that the sciences had been systematized, Comte was able to return to his initial interest, political philosophy.


(COMTE) SPENCER, Herbert. Reasons for Dissenting from the Philosophy of M. Comte. A new edition, with an appendix. London: Williams & Norgate. 1884. 30[2] pp., with two small library stamps to title-page; unbound.

[54720] £45


DESCARTES, René. Oeuvres de Descartes, publiées par Victor Cousin. Paris: F.G. Levrault. 1824-1826. Eleven volumes; 46 folding engraved plates. Contemporary quarter calf with marbled boards, gilt lettering to spines, a little rubbed on joints (joints of volume 1 tender); an attractive set, together with two copies of a 12-page Prospectus for the work, dated March 1824.

[55591] £1000

This edition contains the first French translation of a number of Descartes' texts, along with extracts from his unpublished manuscripts. "Cousin launched the modern French Descartes revival with his enthusiastic but hasty edition of the philosopher's works which served for nearly 80 years" (Sebba).


(DESCARTES) LE GRAND, Anthony. Apologia pro Renato Des-Cartes contra Samuelem Parkerum, S.T.P. ... Instututa & Adornata. London: M. Clark. 1679. Small 8vo: [viii], xxx, [ii], 222 [2] pp; title-page a little creased, with oval ink stamp to upper corner; ownership inscription of D. Will. Mount dated 1714. Contemporary panelled calf, neatly rebacked. First edition.

[55353] £350

A detailed response to Samuel Parker's "Disputationes de Deo et Providentia Divina" (1678), which attacks Epicurus's denial of divine Providence, and then goes on to launch an assault on Descartes. Wing L945.


(DESCARTES) LE GRAND, Anthony. Institutio Philosophiae Secundum Principia D. Renati Descartes: Nova Methodo Adornata & Explicata. In Usum Juventutis Academicae. Editio Tertia. London: J. Martyn. 1675. Engraved title after W. Faithorne, printed title, [xxxvi], 709[1] pp., engravings to text (27 in all) including one full-page. Contemporary calf, rebacked (new pastedowns), raised bands, gilt lettering.

[55215] £500

In ten parts, with the engravings in parts 4, 5, 6 and 8. First published in 1672. Le Grand was the first writer to present the doctrines of Descartes in scholastic format. The work was translated into English and published as part of "An Entire Body of Philosophy" in 1694. Wing L955.


[HUBER, Marie]. The World Unmask'd: or, the Philosopher the greatest Cheat; in Twenty-Four Dialogues between Crito a Philosopher, Philo a Lawyer, and Erastus a Merchant. In which True Virtue is distinguished from what usually bears the Name or Resemblance of it: The many Prejudices and Mistakes in Judgment and Practice, in regard to Conscience and Religion, are examined and rectified: And the Value of Truth is shewn; with the Reasons why it is not more generally known. To which is added, The State of Souls separated from their Bodies .... In Answer to a Treatise, entitled, An Enquiry into Origenism. Together with a Large Introduction, evincing the same Truth from the Principles of Natural Religion. Translated from the French. London: printed for A. Millar. 1736. viii, 446 pp. plus publisher's advertisement leaf. Contempoary speckled calf, gilt decorated spine with raised bands and morocco label, partially split at top of front joint. First edition in English.

[54702] £250

A translation of 'Le Monde fou préferé au monde sage …' and 'Le Sistème des anciens et des modernes, conciliés .…' With 'The Sequel of the Fourteen Letters concerning the State of Souls separated from their Bodies. Being an answer to .... An Enquiry into Origenism. By Mr. Professor R-' [Abraham Ruchat], a translation of Marie Huber's 'Suite du Sistème des anciens et des modernes .…' Marie Huber (1695-1753), a Swiss deist.


[JOLY, Claude]. Traité des Restitutions des Grands, Precedé d'une lettre touchant quelques points de la Morale Chrestienne. [Amsterdam: D. Elzevier]. 1665. 12mo: [ii], 228, 96 pp., wooduct sphere to title-page; some light dampstaining. Contemporary mottled calf, gilt decorated spine, some wear to top and bottom of spine. First edition.

[56678] £450

Claude Joly (1607-1700), jurist, cleric and political theorist. Kress 1158; not in Goldsmiths'.


[MONCRIF, Francois Auguste Paradis de]. Essais sur la Neccessité et sur les Moyens de Plaire. Paris: Prault. 1738. Small 8vo: half-title, engraved frontispiece (entitled 'L'Amitié meme a besoin d'Elles'), title-page printed in red and black, [viii], 290 [12] pp., head- and tail-pieces. Contemporary speckled calf, gilt decorated spine, rubbed, partially cracked on joints. First edition. With the early ownership inscription of Mary Douglas to the title-page.

[56336] £200

Moncrif (1687-1770) was a friend of Voltaire.


PICTET, Bernardus. An Antidote against a Careless Indifferency in Matters of Religon: Being a Treatise in Opposition to those that believe that all Religions are Indifferent …. Wherein the Vulgar Objections of Atheists, Deists, Sceptics, Libertines, Latitudinarians, &c are briefly answered. With an Introduction by the Reverend Anthony Horneck, D.D. The third edition, corrected. [Yorkshire] North-Allerton: J. Langdale. 1802. 12mo: [xi], 12-119 pp. Contemporary sheep, a little rubbed and faded, but generally good.

[72524] £35

First published as 'Traité contre l'indifference des religion' in 1692, opposing the indifference at the beginning of the enlightenment.

Translated and with an introduction (6 pages) by Anthony Horneck (1641-1697), English divine.


SALIGNAC DE LA MOTHE FÉNELON, François de. Lettres sur Divers Sujets concernant la Religion et la Metaphysique. Paris: Jacques Estienne. 1718. [xxiv], 278 pp; small wormhole to lower margin not affecting text. Contemporary speckled calf, gilt decorated spine with raised bands; an attractive copy. First edition.

[56332] £150


SENAULT, Jean Francois. The Use of Passions. Written in French .... and put into English by Henry Earl of Monmouth. London: printed by W.G. for John Sims. 1671. Small 8vo: [xlviii] including portrait frontispiece (a little frayed at edges) and engraved title, 510 pp; lower corner of E4 torn away with some loss to side notes; small single wormhole affecting top outer corner from p.257; some foxing, mainly to preliminary leaves. Contemporary calf, rebacked.

[56271] £320

The second edition in English, the first was published in 1649, translated by Henry Carey, second Earl of Monmouth (1596-1661). Wing S2505.


VOLTAIRE, François Marie Arouet de. L'Esprit de Monsieur de Voltaire. [No place of publication or publisher]. 1759. Engraved vignette to title-page (by Doflos), ii, [3]-284 pp. Contemporary mottled calf, some wear to covers, ornate gilt decorated spine, some wear to head and base.

[55851] £250

A selection of Voltaire's writings, compiled by Claude Villaret. Bengesco 2201.


(VOLTAIRE) BAILLY, Jean Sylvain. Lettres sur l'Origine des Sciences, et sur celle des Peuples de l'Asie; Addressées à M. de Voltaire par M. Bailly, & précédées de quelques Lettres de M. de Voltaire é l'Auteur. Londres, chez M. Elmesly, et a Paris, chez De Bure l'ainé. 1777. [iv], 348 pp. Contemporary mottled calf, contrasting label, split on front joint, rubbed. First edition.

[70001] £340

Jean-Sylvain Bailly (1736-1793) was born in the Louvre, the son of the keeper of the Royal paintings. He is known for his 'Histoire de l'astronomie ancienne' and a number of other works on astronomy, which brought him into conflict with Voltaire, resulting in this series of letters.

Bengesco 2008. ESTCN19445.


(VOLTAIRE) [RICHARD, Charles Louis]. Voltaire parmi les Ombres. Geneva, et se trouve a Paris, chez P.G. Simon, … la veuve Desaint, … Moutard, … Merigot jeune …. 1776. xii, [13]-380 pp (errata on p.374); outer margin of Aii & Aiii torn without loss of text; neat early manuscript notes to front endpapers and lower portion of p.373. Contemporary quaarter calf, rubbed.

[70003] £200

Charles-Louis Richard (1711-1794), Dominican, was the author of a number of anti-Voltaire works.

To order a title click here
or search for an author or title

Images of any item can be sent by email. Your item will be expertly packed and sent by recorded delivery.

Rachel LeeDescartes rare antiquarian philosophy books for sale
Rachel Lee rare antiquarian philosophy books for sale