Human Sciences

Contact Jonathan Harrison, Alfred Pasternack or Barbara Scalvini

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. [MASCHERANA, Girolamo.]

    Concordia tra la società e la religione ossia Difesa del culto cattolico contro chi lo calunnia in contrasto...

    Milan, Cesare Orena nella stamperia Malatesta, 1798.

    Rare second edition, printed in the same year as the equally rare first, of this curious defence of religion in the light of the constitution of the Cisalpine Republic, in which the author seeks to demonstrate the compatibility of Catholicism with the Enlightenment ideals of the French Revolution and...


  2. MENDELSSOHN, Moses.

    Jerusalem oder über religiöse Macht und Judenthum.

    Frankfurt and Leipzig, n. p., 1787.

    First posthumous edition, originally published in 1783 by Friedrich Maurer in Berlin, of this later work by Mendelssohn (1729–1786), in which he supports religious and political toleration, and advocates separation of church and state and civil equality for Jews. The work was reprinted as recently as 2001.


  3. MENDELSSOHN, Moses. 

    Philosophische Schriften. 

    Troppau, Joseph Georg Traßler, 1784. 

    Later edition, in an attractive contemporary binding, of the works of the German-Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786). First published in 1761 and here reprinted in the Silesian city of Troppau (now Opawa, Czechia), the collection includes Über die Empfindungen, Philosophische...


  4. MILL, John Stuart.

    The Subjection of Women.

    London: Longmans, Green, 1869.

    First edition of ‘the last of [Mill’s] great political tracts’ (ODNB), one of the most important and controversial treatments of women’s rights in the nineteenth century. Mill was heavily involved in the women’s suffragette movement, and in this work he argued ‘that the principle which...


  5. MILL, John Stuart.

    A szabadságról ... Angolból forditotta és az elöszót irta Kállay Béni.

    Pest, Kiadja Ráth Mór, 1867.

    First Hungarian edition of John Stuart Mill’s great essay On Liberty, with a lengthy introduction by the Austro-Hungarian statesman Béni Kállay (1839–1903). First published in 1859, Mill’s vastly influential essay was dedicated to his wife Harriet who had provided the stimulus for...


  6. MILL, John Stuart; Nakamura MASANAO, translator.

    自由之理. On Liberty.

    Suruga (i.e. Shizuoka), [Kihira Ken’ichiro,] 1871 [i.e. 1872].

    First Japanese translation of Mill’s On Liberty, published twelve years after the first English edition, and very popular in Japan as a result of this translation by the philosopher and educator Nakamura Masanao (1832–1891).



    Risposta ad alcuni aggravi fatti ai monaci nel libro, che ha il titolo di Politica, diritto, e religione.

    Milan, Francesco Agnelli, 1742.

    Only edition of this anonymous response to Giuseppe Gorini Corio’s controversial Politica, diritto, e religione, that had appeared in Milan at the start of the same year.


  8. MONIGLIA, Tommaso Vicenzo.

    Osservazioni critico-filosofiche contro i materialisti, divise in due trattati ...

    Lucca, Vincenzo Giuntini, 1760.

    Uncommon anti-materialist work by the Tuscan philosopher Tommaso Moniglia (1686-1767).


  9. MOSZKOWSKI, Alexander [and H.J. STENNING (trans.).] 

    The Isles of Wisdom. 

    London, George Routledge & sons, 1924.

    First English edition of Alexander Moszkowski’s dystopian satire.  Moszkowski imagines a visit to a series of South-East Asian islands which each subscribe unreservedly to a philosophical school of thought.  These utopias are absurd: people’s notions of philosophical purity prevent them...


  10. NEWTON, Isaac.

    Opuscula Mathematica, philosophica et philologica. Collegit partimque Latine vertit ac recensuit Joh. Castillioneus...

    Lausanne and Geneva, Bousquet & soc., 1744.

    First edition of Newton’s collected works, a major tool in the dissemination of Newton’s science and a major publication in the history of science.  The edition, edited and introduced by the Pisa alumnus Giovanni Salvemini da Castiglione, contains twenty-six works (which, while having appeared...


  11. PASCOLI, Alessandro. 

    Nuovo metodo per introdursi ad imitazion de’ geometri con ordine, chiarezza, e brevità nelle piu sottili...

    Venice, Andrea Poletti, 1721. 

    Scarce second edition (first 1702) of this work of philosophy and medicine by the Perugian scholar Pascoli (1669–1757). 


  12. [PASCOLI, Livio.] ‘Vilio LOCASPI’.

    Del modo di mantenere abolita la mendicità, discorso familiare.

    Verona, Mainardi, 1817.

    Only edition, very rare, of this proposal for the abolition of begging, and of poverty more broadly, by the poet and essayist Livio Pascoli.


  13. PERRY, Ralph Barton (1876-1957), American philosopher.

    Two autograph letters signed and one typed letter signed (‘Ralph Barton...

    Cambridge (Mass.), 1945-1946.

    Perry, who became a leading realist philosopher, had intended to train for the ministry and viewed the academic career he achieved as a vocation. He was active within Harvard and the wider field of the American Philosophical Association and campaigned on a variety of causes. These letters are written...


  14. [PHILOSOPHY.] 

    Philosophy course on logic. 

    [Brussels, early eighteenth century?] 

    An elegant manuscript philosophy course on logic.  Following a brief introduction (Prolegomenon in logicam, ff. [1]r-[2]r), the first part of the treatise is devoted to the cognitive faculty of the human mind (De facultate cognoscitiva mentis humanae, ff. [2]r-[53]r),...


  15. PONTANO, Giovanni.

    De rebus coelestibus.

    Naples, ‘ex officina Sigismundi Mayr Germani : summo ingenio artificis Ioannetto Salodio : Antonio Vuerengrundt : Evangelista Papiensi :...

    First editions of three works on cosmology, ethics, and astrology by the Neapolitan humanist, poet, and polymath Giovanni Pontano (1426–1503), an important sammelband from the celebrated library of Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522–1605), professor of natural philosophy and natural history at the University...


  16. POSTEL, Guillaume. 

    De originibus, seu, de varia et potissimum orbi Latino ad hanc diem incognita, aut inconsyderata historia,...

    Basel, Johannes Oporinus, [1553].

    First edition of Postel’s investigations into the original language as a means to regain the primordial unity of mankind. 


  17. [QUESNAY, François].

    DU PONT DE NEMOURS, Pierre Samuel, editor. Physiocratie, ou constitution naturelle du gouvernement le plus...

    First edition of the ‘Bible’ of the Physiocrats and one of the most important and original works on political economy to be published before the Wealth of Nations. The excessively rare ‘Pékin’ imprint was printed in very small numbers and swiftly withdrawn because of a statement on page 104...


  18. REID, Thomas.

    Essays on the powers of the human mind; to which are prefixed, an Essay on quantity, and an Analysis of Aristotle’s...

    [Edinburgh, W. Aitchison for] London, Ogle, Duncan & Co., and Edinburgh, J. Dick & Co. and W. Hunter, and Glasgow, M. Ogle, 1822.

    A beautiful set of this small format edition of the principal philosophical works of the Scottish enlightenment philosopher Thomas Reid (1710–1796).


  19. REID, Thomas.

    The Works of Thomas Reid … with an Account of his Life and Writings, by Dugalds Stewart … with Notes, by the...

    Charlestown (MA), Samuel Etheridge junior, 1813.

    First American edition of the foundation of the Scottish Common Sense School, with a life of Reid by his disciple Dugald Stewart. The set includes his early treatises and analytics, his enquiry into the human mind and the senses, memory, intellectual and active powers, actions, and morals.


  20. RICARDO, David.

    Zasady ekonomji politycznej i podatkowania.

    Warsaw, Jan Cotty, 1919.

    Second and most complete Polish edition of On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (first published in 1817), in a new translation by Dr. M. Bronstein. The 1826 first Polish translation by Stanislaw Kunatt was based on the translation into French by the Portuguese journalist Francisco Solano...