"FEW MEN HAVE HAD A MORE MARKED INFLUENCE UPON THE RISING INTELLECT OF THE TIME": FIRST EDITION OF JOHN STUART MILL'S SYSTEM OF LOGIC, 1843
MILL, John Stuart. A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive, Being a Connected View of the Principles of Evidence, and the Methods of Scientific Investigation. London: John W. Parker, 1843. Two volumes. Octavo, period-style three-quarter tan calf gilt, red and black morocco spine labels, raised bands, original drab endpapers retained. $8000.
First edition of a classic text on logic by John Stuart Mill—"Britain's most important philosopher in the 19th century"—one of only 750 copies printed.
"The statement that John Stuart Mill was Britain's most important philosopher in the 19th century looks like a bold assertion, but in fact it should not be even mildly controversial… Mill has no serious rivals" (Dictionary of 19th-Century Philosophers II:792). One of Mill's most important works, System of Logic is "the first major installment of his comprehensive restatement of an empiricist and utilitarian position" (Encyclopedia of Philosophy), setting forth "the fundamentals of the human or 'moral' sciences" (Mander & Sell, 794). "The book had a rapid success, beyond the expectations of its author, and was for many years the standard authority with all who took his side in the main philosophical questions. Mill, in fact was recognized as the great leader of the empirical as opposed to what he called the intuitional school; and few men have had a more marked influence upon the rising intellect of the time" (DNB). System of Logic "ran through many editions, established [Mill's] philosophical reputation, and greatly influenced Venn, John Neville Keynes, Frege and Bertrand Russell" (Magnusson, 1013). When publisher John Parker accepted Mill's manuscript in 1842, "suggesting an edition of 750 copies at his own risk and half-profit, Mill was delighted." He wrote Parker: "With respect to your very handsome offer of half profit, my feeling is that if I were to take advantage of your liberality in any manner, the shape in which I should most like to do so would be by a certain latitude in giving away copies—chiefly to foreigners or persons who would not be likely to buy the book… I have not in view any alarming number, some 25 or 30 copies being as far as I can now judge" (Robson, Introduction, Collected Works VII). Bound without advertisements.
Interior fine. Beautifully bound.