12mo, pp. , 206, 70; without the half-title; a very good copy in later calf by Maclehose of Glasgow, spine blind-ruled in compartments with bands gilt, gilt red morocco lettering-piece in one, marbled edges; slightly rubbed, very light sunning.
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Defence of Usury, shewing the Impolicy of the present legal Restraints on the Terms of pecuniary Bargains, in Letters to a Friend, to which is added, a Letter to Adam Smith … on the Discouragements opposed by the above Restraints to the Progress of inventive Industry, the fourth Edition, to which is also added, third Edition, a Protest against Law-Taxes.
Fourth edition of Bentham’s criticism of limited interest rates. First published in 1787, the Defence of Usury established the principle that no adult of sound mind acting freely and aware of the circumstances, should be hindered from making any bargain that he sees fit to make. The Defence was written during Bentham’s stay in Russia and takes the form of the letters written to George Wilson amid reports the Pitt was considering reducing the rate of interest to four per cent. The arguments presented here convinced Smith, who had in the Wealth of Nations approved the limitation of interest rates.
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[DORLHAC, Pierre, Abbé.]
Traité de la légitimité du prêt lucratif, ouvrage utile & instructif pour les laïques & pour les ecclésiatiques.
First and only edition of this work on interest and usury. According to Dorlhac, while the profits from interest are legitimate and those from usury illegitimate, one cannot categorically approve or condemn one or the other, since it depends on circumstances: if loans to the poor ought to be interest free, there is no obligation to offer the same advantage to the rich. Dorlhac cites Scripture, the Church Fathers, Church Councils and Papal decrees to show how religious opinion is in accord with natural laws and with his own conclusions on these questions.
L’industrie et la morale considérées dans leurs rapports avec la liberté.
First edition of this defence of the old economic liberalism against the new democracy by the French economist and politician Dunoyer (1786-1863). ‘In anticipation of Spencer, Dunoyer here developed the idea that society was an organism, in which it fell to the lot of a congeries of institutions and individuals to perform specific functions. The function of government was the preservation of order, and to this role ... he ... assigned vital importance. To justify the work of government officials as well of those supporters of the bourgeois monarchy who were drawn from the professional classes, Dunoyer extended the classical concept of product to include the ‘immaterial’ product or service; in this he followed J. B. Say, Germain Garnier and Destutt de Tracy’ (Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences). Dunoyer defined liberty as the power to make free and intelligent use of faculties. This work was later revised and enlarged under a new title, De la liberté du travail (Paris, 1845).