Human Sciences

Contact Barbara Scalvini or Jonathan Harrison

Human Sciences at Quaritch embraces a wide range of books and manuscripts documenting the history of ideas from the earliest times up to about 1960. Our strengths are in the history of economic thought and in philosophy, but we also deal in law; finance and banking (including speculation, actuarial science and insurance); politics and political theory; sociology; psychology; agriculture; education; logic; and the theory of language.

Some notable items which have recently passed through our hands include the only known copy of the Communist Manifesto inscribed by Karl Marx, Rudolf Carnap’s annotated copy of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus (Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung), Joseph Penso de la Vega’s Confusion de Confusiones (1688, the first book to describe the practice of a stock-exchange) and a copy of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (4th edition, 1786), inscribed in Smith's own hand to Bonnie Prince Charlie's private secretary.

As well as dealing in individual books and manuscripts, we also offer collections. In recent years we have sold author collections of Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Thorstein Veblen, Emile Durkheim and Jeremy Bentham. Among subject collections we have offered are the Herwood Library of accounting literature (including Pacioli's Summa de Arithmetica, 1494, the first printed exposition of double-entry book-keeping); the philosophy of language; texts pertaining to the theory and study of language in the West, and the history of probability - the calculus of probabilities, statistics and their applications.

  1. [MELANCHTHON, Philipp]. LAGUS, Konrad.

    Oratio de Platone.

    Wittenberg, [J. Klug], 1538.

    Only edition, exceedingly rare (one copy only in the US), of the main extant source for Melanchthon’s views on Plato. ‘Melanchthon’s view of Plato is known primarily from a Latin speech, which he asked Conrad Lagus to deliver’ (Hartfelder).

    £5000

  2. PLATO.

    Divini Platonis operum a Marsilio Ficino tralatorum tomus primus [-quintus].

    Lyons, Jean de Tournes, 1550.

    The only de Tournes edition of Plato’s corpus, rare. The Latin text is that of Marsilio Ficino, the first complete translation of Plato’s work into a Western language, and ‘the best translation of that author Italy can boast’ (Enc. Brit.), which the translator discussed with the best philologists...

    £2200

  3. GROUCHY, Nicolas de.

    Praeceptiones dialecticae, Nicolao Gruchio Rotomagensi authore. Disputatio eiusdem, quid de nomine dialectices...

    Paris, Gabriel Buon, 1563.

    Grouchy’s abstract of his lectures on logic and Aristotelian dialectic. Grouchy spent 12 years in Bordeaux (1535-47) as professor of rhetoric at the Collège de Guyenne (the top class was called “Classe de Rhétorique”), and his book became part of the Collège’s published syllabus for the two-year...

    £1400

  4. DOLCE, Lodovico.

    Somma della filosofia a’Aristotele, e prima della dialettica. [with:] Somma di tutta la natural filosofia di...

    Venice, Giovanni Battista, & Marchio Sessa, & fratelli, [1565].

    First edition of this exposition of Aristotle’s dialaectics, moral, and natural philosophy by ‘one of the major transmitters of culture in cinquecento Italy’ (Ronnie H. Terpening, Lodovico Dolce: Renaissance Man of Letters, 1997).

    £5500

  5. POMPONAZZI, Pietro.

    Opera.

    [Basel, Henricus Petri, 1567].

    Rare first edition of Pomponazzi’s essay On fate, free will, and predestination (De fato… libri V), published posthumously in this collective edition prepared by his pupil Gulielmus Gratarol. Gratarol’s editions of Pomponazzi’s writings were instrumental in divulging the thought of one of the...

    £7500

  6. SEXTUS EMPIRICUS.

    Adversus mathematicos, Hoc est, adversus eos qui profitentur disciplinas ... Graecè nunquam, Latinè nunc primùm...

    Paris, Martin Le Jeune, 1569.

    First collected edition of Sextus Empiricus (fl. AD 200), the only sceptic philosopher of antiquity whose works have survived. It includes his two major works, the Pyrrhonian Hypotyposes (or Outlines of Pyrrhonism), which had appeared in 1562 and the Adversus mathematicos (or Against the Professors)...

    £3750

  7. DIOGENES LAERTIUS.

    [Greek title] De vitis, dogmatis & apophthegmatis eorum qui in philosophia claruerunt, libri X. (Edited by Henri...

    [Geneva], Henri Estienne, 1570.

    First Estienne edition of The Lives of the Philosophers, a very important edition in the original Greek, “in which appear for the first time many passages discovered in manuscripts by Estienne. The volume also contains 36 pages of important textual annotations by Henri Estienne and 3 pages of notes...

    £1400

  8. ROSIÈRES, François de.

    Six livres des politiques, contentants l’origine et estat des cités, condition des personnes, economie,...

    Rheims, Jean de Foigny, 1574.

    First edition. A rare treatise on government, society and economy, written during the French Wars of Religion by the archdeacon of Toule. Rosières enjoyed the patronage of Charles, the Guise cardinal of Lorraine, to whom this book is dedicated. In 1580 he published Stemmatum Lotharingiae ac Barri ducum...

    £4500

  9. EPICTETUS. [DU VAIR, Guillaume, translator].

    Le Manuel d’Epictete.

    Paris, Abel L’Angelier, 1591.

    Rare first edition of this translation of the “Encheiridion” or “Manual” of Epictetus’ principal doctrines; an earlier translation by Antoine Du Moulin had been published in 1544.

    £1800

  10. PORTA, Giovanni Battista della.

    De occultis literarum notis seu artis animi sensa occulte aliis significandi, aut ab aliis significata...

    Montbéliard, Jaques Foillet for Lazarus Zetzner, 1593.

    Third edition (the second authorised), revised by the author, complete with appendix, index, and three volvelles, as yet unassembled, on one sheet. this edition includes at the end ‘cryptology’s first set of synoptic tables. These showed in graphic form the path the cryptanalyst must follow in his...

    £2500

  11. BALBIAN, Josse van (also Justus a Balbian).

    Tractatus septem, de lapide philosophico...

    Leiden, Christoffel Raphelengius at the Officina Plantiniana, 1599.

    Very rare first edition of Balbian’s Seven tracts on the philosophers’ stone, an alchemical text edited by the Belgian doctor and alchemist, which was eventually republished in vol. III of Theatrum chemicum.

    £3500

  12. MEURSIUS, Joannes.

    Rerum Belgicarum libri quatuor. In quibus Ferdinandi Albani sexennium, belli Belgici principium. Additur quintus,...

    Leiden, Louis Elzevier, 1614.

    First edition. The first four books narrate the repressive governorship of the duke of Alva (1567–73), who was sent to the Netherlands to secure Spanish rule after the collapse of the rebellion of 1566–67. An earlier version of the fifth book, which ends with the truce agreed in 1609 between Spain...

    £500

  13. [ANDREAE, Johann Valentin.]

    Reipublicae Christianopolitanae descriptio ...

    Strasburg, heirs of Lazarus Zetzner, 1619.

    a fine sammelband of four first editions by andreae, including his famous christian utopia.

    £12500

  14. BACON, Francis.

    The Essayes or Counsels, civill and morall … Newly enlarged.

    London, Printed by John Haviland … 1632.

    Third edition of the definitive text of Bacon’s Essayes, first published in 1625. The first edition appeared in 1597 comprising only ten short essays; in 1612 these were revised and a further twenty-eight essays added. The 1625 edition contained fifty-eight essays, twenty of them new, and the rest...

    £650

  15. MORE, Thomas.

    The Common-wealth of Utopia: containing a learned and pleasant Discourse of the best State of a publike-Weale, as...

    London, Printed by B. Alsop & T. Fawcet, and are to be sold by Wil: Sheares … 1639.

    Fifth edition of More’s Utopia in English, translated by Ralph Robinson – the last edition of his translation, first published in 1551, and revised in 1556. Alsop printed a corrected edition in 1624, with a dedication to More’s grandson, Cresacre More, which is reprinted here.

    £2500

  16. [ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY]. NATHANAEL, Abbot, compiler.

    Kniga o vere edinoi istinnoi pravoslavnoi [Book of the one true Orthodox...

    Moscow, Stefan Boniface, 1648.

    First edition, very rare, of a book of Orthodox liturgy and theology. Beginning with prayers, this is a compilation of writings on all aspects of the Orthodox tradition, including a variety of polemical treatises against heretics, Catholics, and traitors to the Orthodox faith, some of which has been...

    £7500

  17. BACON, Francis.

    Opuscula varia posthuma, philosophica, civilia, et theologica …

    London, Roger Daniel for Octavian Pulleyn, 1658.

    First edition, edited by William Rawley, ‘the most important disseminator of Bacon’s works and propagator of Bacon’s reputation in the seventeenth century’ (Rees, p. lxxiii). This is the second issue, with a cancel title giving Pulleyn as publisher but with gathering K still in its first, uncorrected...

    £1100

  18. LA FORGE, Louis de.

    Traitte de l’esprit de l’homme, de ses facultez & functions, et de son union avec le corps, suivant les...

    Amsterdam, Abraham Wolfgang, [1670].

    Early edition (first Paris 1666) of de La Forge’s Treatise on the mind of man and its faculties and functions, and on its union with the body: a seminal work, the earliest to demonstrate how Cartesian metaphysics led to occasionalism. The Traitte is the first instance of the use of the expression ‘occasional...

    £500

  19. [SPINOZA, Benedict de].

    Opera posthuma, quorum Series post Praefationem exhibetur.

    [Amsterdam, Jan Rieuwertsz,] 1677.

    First appearance of Spinoza’s Ethic, his philosophical masterpiece, and first edition of the Opera posthuma, which ‘have served, then and since, with the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, to immortalize his name’ (PMM 153).

    £10000

  20. LOCKE, John.

    [An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding]. Extrait d’un Livre Anglois qui n’est pas encore publié, intitulé...

    Amsterdam, Wolfgang, Waesbergi, Boom, & Van Someren, 1688.

    A substantial and extremely influential extract, published two years before the appearance of the book, of Locke’s Essay concerning human understanding: a publication of major consequence in the history of philosophy. This issue of the Bibliothèque universelle et historique also contains at least...

    £4000