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SPINOZA, Baruch.

Tractatus theologico-politicus.

Hamburg, Henricus Künraht, 1670 Stock Code: 130116
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First edition of Spinoza's great treatise on political theology, a "crystal-clear exposition of the theory of natural right" (PMM). Spinoza's principal work, and the only work published in his lifetime, it blends the traditions of his Hebraic background with Cartesian rationalism. His ethical views are extended into the realm of politics, and contain the first clear statement of the mutual independence of philosophy and religion. "Man is moved to the knowledge and love of God; the love of God involves the love of our fellow men. Man, in order to obtain security, surrenders part of his right of independent action to the State. But the State exists to give liberty, not to enslave; justice, wisdom and toleration are essential to the sovereign power" (PMM).
Four editions were published with the 1670 date and Künraht imprint when, in fact, the second appeared in 1672, and the third and fourth posthumously in 1677. This copy is of the true first edition, with "Künraht" spelled thus and page 104 misnumbered 304.

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Quarto (200 x 155 mm). Modern boards covered with a medieval manuscript antiphonal on vellum, black spine label, green endpapers. Housed in a black quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.


Roman, italic and Hebrew type. Woodcut printer's device on title.


Without final blank. Title dust-soiled and repaired in gutter, a couple of stains to quire G and to fore edge thereafter, very good.


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