8vo, first edition, "Scotticisms" and advertisement leaf bound at end, contemporary full calf, spine gilt in compartments with crown motif, lower corner of 2N3 torn away, number punched on p. 3 of the Scotticisms, some offsetting, upper joint repaired and cracking at foot, spine and corners a little worn, new lettering-piece
Carpenter XV (1); Chuo 70; Einaudi 2957; Fieser 10.A.1 and 11.A.1; Goldsmiths' 8689; Higgs 242; Jessop, p. 23; Kress 5210; Todd 1752 (1); see Mossner, pp. 269-71 and O'Brien, The Classical Economists, p. 7ff.
the foundation of classical monetary economics. "The Age of Enlightenment found Hume's economic and political observations subtle but discerning. As usual, his thought was seminal and provoked much appreciation. In short, after 1752 David Hume was read by a wider circle than could ever possibly have read his metaphysical works" (Mossner).
Of the twelve discourses, seven are on economics: "These discourses turned the search light of rational and historical inquiry upon problems of vast interest to an age that was slowly sloughing itself out of the moribund skin of mercantilism. If these discourses have the virtues of the essay form, they likewise have its vices and lack the connexion and the system of the treatise" (ibid.) "But his two Essays, 'Of Money' and 'Of the Balance of Trade' [essays no. III and V in this work] form nothing less than the foundation of classical monetary economics" (O'Brien, p. 7).
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