Teoriia nravstvennykh chuvstv. S pis'mami M. Kondorse k Kabanisu o simpatii. Perevel P. A. Bibikov. [The Theory of Moral Sentiments, With the letters of M. Condorcet to Cabanis on sympathy. Translated by P. A. Bibikov.]

SMITH Adam (1868.)

£4500.00  [First Edition]

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First edition in Russian. 8vo. 515, [1, blank], iv [contents], [2, publisher's advertisements] pp. With the half title. Recent quarter brown morocco with marbled paper covered boards, spine lettered in gilt on black morocco label, marbled edges (faint dampstain to lower corner of text block, otherwise internally clean, a very good copy). St Petersburg, I. I. Glazunov. 

The first Russian translation of Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments, originally published in Edinburgh in 1759, his first book and most thoroughly philosophical work, providing the first expression of many of the ideas contained in the Wealth of Nations, with which it shares "a great unifying principle. Smith’s ethics and his economics are integrated by the same principle of self-command, or self-reliance, which manifests itself in economics in laissez faire" (Spiegel, The Growth of Economic Thought).

The translation was undertaken by Pavel A. Bibikov (1831-1875), a well-known Russian historian, philosopher, and literary critic who had produced a translation of Smith's Wealth of Nations two years previously in 1866. Both translations were published in Bibikov's book series the Library of Classical European Writers, which also included translations of the likes of Thomas Robert Malthus, Francis Bacon, and A.L. Blanqui, amongst others.

Bibikov's translation of The Theory of Moral Sentiments is appended by a series of eight letters by Sophie de Condorcet (1764-1822) on the subject of sympathy addressed to her brother-in-law, the eminent French physiologist Pierre Jean Georges Cabanis. The letters were first published as an appendix to a French translation of The Theory of Moral Sentiments produced by Sophie de Condorcet in 1798, discreetly addressed to an anonymous "C ...". The identity of the recipient as Cabanis was not revealed until a posthumous French edition published in 1830, which was most likely the source material for Bibikov's translation presented here, consistent with his other translations of English works, including his translations of the Wealth of Nations and Malthus's Essay on the Principle of Population, which were both translated from French editions.

Adam Smith was relatively well-known in Russia, having been widely read by leading Russian Enlightenment figures in the late-eighteenth century and enjoying popularity amongst educated nobility in the first half of the nineteenth century. However, "Russian government officials did not always receive Smith’s works positively after 1870. On 5 January 1884 both The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments could be seen in a list of books that were to be banned from all reading rooms and public libraries in Russia. This ban was probably short-lived and less than vigorously enforced, but it suggests that some uneasiness about Smith’s ideas existed in Russia" (Barnett, A History of Russian Economic Thought, p. 31).

See: Artemieva, 'Adam Smith in Russian Translation' in Tribe (ed.) A Critical Bibliography of Adam Smith.

Rare. OCLC list three copies, two in the US held by Yale and Illinois, and one at the National Library of Scotland.

Stock Code: 244183

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