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Dissertations Moral and Critical.

On Memory and Imagination. On Dreaming. The Theory of Language. On Fable and Romance. On the Attachments of Kindred. Illustrations of Sublimity.

London : for W. Strahan; and T. Cadell; and W. Creech at Edinburgh, 1783 Stock Code: 96488
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A particularly attractive copy

First edition; a lovely copy of an important collection of essays by a major figure of the Scottish Enlightenment. Beattie's biographer Roger J. Robinson describes the Dissertations as his "best prose work" (ODNB) and draws particular attention to the treatise on the theory of language, which was separately published five years later in 1788.

Beattie (1735-1803) held the chair of Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen from 1760. In his philosophical works (such as An Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth, 1770, and Elements of Moral Science, 1790) he argued influentially for the idea of a "Common Sense" to counter the epistemological scepticism inculcated by Hume, and also against the institution of slavery. He was in addition well known for his poetry, in particular for The Minstrel (1771-4), which inspired Wordsworth and the other Romantics. Dissertations Moral and Critical was also published in Dublin the same year.

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Quarto (267 x 209 mm). Contemporary speckled calf, flat spine with decorative gilt bands, light brown morocco label.


Small worm marks to inside of front board, just touching lower blank margin of half-title and title, very small paper flaw to leaves Qq 3-4 affecting only a few words of letterpress. Overall a bright, crisp copy.


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