Elements of Moral Science.

Elements of Moral Science.
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Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 1792 & 1794. Two volumes 8vo, 224 (3)pp. advertisements; 338 (6)pp. advertisements. Original full leather binding with burgundy label on spine with gilt lettering. Cracking and separation to front hinges on both volumes, with the front boards remaining attached only by the cords. Some wear and scuffing to covers. Former owner’s signature (Josiah W. Dunscomb) to upper margin of both title pages. Moderate foxing. First American edition of perhaps the best summation of the ideas of Scottish poet and philosopher James Beattie (1735-1803). Beattie was professor of moral philosophy and logic at Marishcal College, Aberdeen, and a conscientious teacher who kept a journal of what he had taught in each session of each of his classes for thirty-two years of his forty-three year tenure. “Elements of Moral Science” was largely written for his students: “Beattie gave about 300 lectures annually to the arts class, in the final year of their four-year course, when the students were aged about seventeen. These discourses ranged widely over psychology, ethics, literary criticism, and natural religion. Elements of Moral Science (2 vols., 1790–93) is an abstract of his lecture course” (DNB). It includes a strong attack on slavery. Widely held by institutions, the book is scarce in commerce. The first edition was Edinburgh 1790-93. (Item Id: 6183)

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