Essays on Philosophical Subjects.

SMITH Adam (1795)


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To which is prefixed, An Account of the Life and Writings of the Author; By Dugald Stewart, F.R.S.E.


Second (First) Dublin Edition. 8vo. cxxiii, [i (blank)], 332pp. Original boards, cover lined with light-blue paper, white paper spine; edges uncut (spine very defective with substantial pieces missing, joints cracked but firm, covers somewhat marked). Internally fine and fresh.


Dublin: for Messrs. Wogan, Byrne, [etc.],

With the half-title, in fact a subtitle to Stewart's life of Smith. First published in 4to in London in 1795 (1000 copies for sale at 15 shillings in boards), followed by this 8vo Dublin reprint in the same year. The only other 18th Century printings in English of these seven essays by Smith were at Basel (1799) and Strasburg (1799); the latter, known in only two copies, is possibly a reissue of the former. Dugald Stewart account of Smith's life and writings was read to the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 28 January and 18 March 1793 and published in their Transactions in 1794.


Adam Smith chose his friends James Black and William Hutton as his literary executors, after first forcing them to burn sixteen volumes of his manuscripts before his death. These essays discuss "The Principles which lead and direct Philosophical Enquiries" illustrated by the history of astronomy, ancient physics and ancient logic and metaphysics; the nature of imitation in the imitative arts; the affinity between music, dancing and poetry, and between certain English and Italian verses; the five "external senses" (Touching Tasting, Smelling, Hearing, Seeing). In the "Advertisement", the editors" [Black and Hutton] explain that "the greater number of them [the seven essays] appeared to be parts of a plan he once had formed, for giving a connected history of the liberal sciences and elegant arts. It is long since he found it necessary to abandon that plan as far too extensive; and these parts of it lay beside him neglected until his death."


Stock Code: 54130

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