Système social ou principes de la morale et de la politique. Avec un examen de l'influence du gouvernement sur les moeurs.
8vo. 3 vols. in one. (4), 210 pp. 176 pp. 167, (1) pp. Contemporary French calf with giltstamped red label to gilt spine. All edges sprinkled in blue. Marbled endpapers.
Early edition of the atheist and materialist philosopher d'Holbach's treatise in which he develops his concept of "ethocracy", a just state whose main purpose is the general welfare. Holbach's theory of ethocracy "is presented in several works published during the 1770's, 'La politique naturelle' (Natural Politics, 1773), 'Système social' (The Social System, 1773), 'La morale universelle' (Universal Morality, 1776), and 'Ethocratie' (Ethocracy, 1776). Holbach's foundational view is that the most valuable thing a person seeking self-preservation can do is to unite with another person: 'Man is of all beings the most necessary to man' [...] Society, when it is just, unites for the common purpose of preservation and the securing of welfare, and society contracts with government for this purpose" (Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy). First published the previous year.
Binding rubbed; extremeties bumped and chipped. Stamps of the library of Vienna's Institut Français.
Cioranescu 34061. Vercruysse 1774.A6. Cf. Barbier IV, 621.