Geneva: Chez Barillot & fils, 1750. First Edition. Hardcover. 1st edition (in French), of Rousseau’s first major philosophical work. Contemporary marbled boards rebacked in calf, lightly rubbed, 4 leaves with some marginal soiling, but very good. Bound with 2 Voltaire plays, La Merope, Nouvelle Edition (Arkstée & Merkus, Amsterdam, 1744) and L’Orphelin (Jean Nourse, London, 1756). All 3 works are uncut. Ref: Gagnebin 2, variant. Very good. Item #340
This work is the beginning of the philosophy that Rousseau would continue to examine for the rest of his life. Nature vs. society would be an essential theme in his 1762 classic, The Social Contract, and every other work he published. This work began as a thesis to be submitted for a prize announced by the Academy of Dijon in 1749, he feared that there would be universal dissent, but there was at least some acclaim, as it won and was subsequently published the next year.