PICHON, Thomas-Jean.

La Physique de l'Histoire,

ou Considérations générales sur les principes élémentaires du temperament et du caractère naturel des peuples.

Amsterdam: aux Depens de la Compagnie, 1765 Stock Code: 129387

The anti-enlightenment, bound with German physiocracy

Reserve Ask us a question


One of two 1765 editions of Pichon's work, the other printed in The Hague (also issued with a London-imprint title page), of unknown priority. The French churchman Thomas Jean-Pichon (1731-1812) can be claimed as part of the anti-philosophe reaction, with his writings countering the enlightenment and the Encyclopédie. The present work is a study of the different races of men, and the impact of climate on the temperaments and passions of the people. Its consideration of the reasons for varying skin colour counters the arguments put forth by Maupertuis in his 1745 treatise Vénus Physique. The impact of climate on the development of different societies was a major question in 18th-century anthropology, with Montesquieu's Spirit of the Laws analysing the subject in depth. Uncommon; Library Hub lists three libraries holding the Amsterdam edition, a further two with the Hague edition, and another with the London issue.

Bound with: SCHLETTWEIN, Johann August, Les Moyens d'Arreter la Misere Publique et d'Acquitter les Dettes des Etats. Carolsrouhe: Chez Michel Macklot, 1772.

Johann August Schlettwein (1731-1802) was the leading German proponent of physiocracy. The Margrave of Baden-Durlach (later Grand Duke of Baden) allowed Schlettwin to implement his physiocratic ideas on the village of Dietling, with the present work including his account of the experiment, as well as being a broader critique of the languid state of Europe's agriculture and economy. Library Hub lists copies in three institutions.

Confused? Read our glossary


2 works in 1 volume (see below), duodecimo (156 x 94 mm). Contemporary quarter calf, red morocco label to spine, brown paper sides, red speckled edges, green silk page marker.


Small mark to rear cover, short closed tear at base of second contents leaf not affecting text. An excellent, attractive copy, with little wear externally and clean internally.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book