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CONDORCET, Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat, marquis de.
Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progrès de l'esprit humain. Ouvrage posthume.
Paris: chez Agasse, l'an III de la République, [1795]. Paris: chez Agasse, l'an III de la République,, [1795]. Octavo (196 x 124 mm). Recent speckled roan-backed marbled boards, spine ruled gilt, red morocco label, marbled endpapers. Small square stain at head of half-title and title, presumably from an inserted slip of paper, no longer present; occasional light spotting and browning, more severe in a couple of places; a very good copy. First edition of the finest and most durable expression of the ultimate perfectibility of man. "The prophetic view of the tenth epoch shows Condorcet at his most original. He forecasts the destruction of inequality between nations and classes, and the improvement, intellectual, moral and physical, of human nature. Unlike Godwin, he does not preach absolute equality, but equality of opportunity" (PMM). "The aim of the Esquisse was to demonstrate man's progressive emancipation, first from the arbitrary domination of his physical environment and then from the historical bondage of his own making" (Encyclopedia of Philosophy II, 184). By linking the question of human progress with that of population, Condorcet also anticipated the work of Malthus (see Spengler, French Predecessors of Malthus). En français dans le texte, 196; Martin & Walter, 1, 8083; Printing and the Mind of Man 246; Quérard, II, p. 269.
Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA/ ILAB. [London, United Kingdom]

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