Rehabilitating society against the “noble sauvage.”

CASTILLON, J. DE. Discours sur l’origine de l’Inégalité parmi les Hommes. Pour servir de réponse au Discours que M. Rousseau, Citoyen de Géneve, a publié sur le même sujet. Par M. Jean de Castillon. Professeur en Philosophie & Mathématique à Utrecht, & Membre des Académies Royales de Londres, Berlin, & Gottingue, &c. &c. &c. A Amsterdam, Chez J.F. Jolly, 1756. Title printed in red and black and with title-vignette. xxxii, 368 pp. 8vo. Contemporary marbled calf, spine richly gilt, raised bands, label with gilt lettering, red edges.

€ 600

Conlon, Ouvrages Français relatifs à Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 68; Schosler, p. 48; Higgs 1146; Kress 5497; Goldsmiths 9191; INED 1001. First edition. Criticizing the ideas of Rousseau and rehabilitating society against the “noble sauvage.” Contains numerous observations on population and luxury: people cannot survive, prosper and increase in number without the produce of their labor. Civilization brings humanity happines and a long healthy life, as does education. Property is not evil and neither are the laws: they serve to change natural laws into civil ones. Luxury is in itself good. Castillon also cites Mandeville and Hutcheson in this refutation of Rousseau. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the French philosopher, writer, and political theorist, published Discours sur l’origine de l’inegalité parmi les hommes in 1755. Castillon replied to Rousseau in Réponse, giving his own defence of progress and modern civility. Published in Amsterdam in 1756, Castillon’s work was addressed to Maupertuis, as President of the Berlin Academy of Science. Castillon opposed the views of Rousseau and his supporters, favouring the ideas of thinkers of the English Enlightenment. He also translated John Locke’s Elements of Natural Philosophy into French with the title Abrégé de physique, publishing this in 1758. He wrote a detailed commentary on Newton’s Arithmetica universalis publishing a Latin edition of the work with his commentary in Amsterdam in 1761. For a good article on Castillon or Castiglione see: http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Castillon.html. Goldsmiths, INED and Schosler state that the author is named G.F.M.M. Salvemini de Castiglione, in French Castillon. – Handwritten ex-libris in blank portion of title, boards a bit discoloured, but a fine copy with good margins.