Pensées philosophiques.

1765 [ie 1776]

Large in-8 (240 x 175 mm), 84 pp, marbled fawn calf, ornate smooth spine, red edges; head cap missing, one bit split with leather missing, one corner dull (Binding circa 1776).

An attractive period manuscript copy of Denis Diderot's first philosophical book.
In it, the author criticizes devotees for their religious prejudices, superstition - "more injurious to God than atheism" - and fanaticism. He then sets out the three philosophical positions on the existence of God: atheism, skepticism and deism. This attack on religion caused a scandal, and the work was condemned in 1746 by a ruling of the Parliament of Paris.

Executed during Diderot's lifetime, this copy was copied onto another dated 1765, attesting to the interest aroused by the work thirty years after its condemnation.
Marginal notes respond to the identification of people mentioned by Diderot in his thirteenth thought. Thought no. 55 has been omitted.

A rare specimen copy of the first philosophical steps of one of the greatest philosophers of the Age of Enlightenment.

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