Title: Observations concerning the distinctions on Ranks in Society, 1773. 2nd Edition
Author: John Millar
Publisher: J. Murray, London
A scarce second edition of John Millar’s most important work, being one of the major products of the Scottish Enlightenment era, proponents of economic determinism, and a veritable masterwork of social and legal theory. In it, he provides a progressive and liberal account of the nature of authority and the role it plays in society, analyzing the changes in subsistence, agriculture, arts, and manufacture. Building on Hume, Adam Smith, and other relative writings on human nature, Millar advanced the proto-Marxian argument that economic systems determine all social relations, including those between all genders. Millar also argues that with the progress of the arts, authoritative powers diminish in their violence and cohesiveness, and diversity starts to form among the ranks.
Viewpoints and arguments like this were later known as economic determinism, being vitally important and impactful to the development of Marxism in the future.
On Millar himself, he was a friend and student of the Father of Enlightenment, Adam Smith.
One volume in octavo, 312 pages
On note of condition, this volume is in good shape with wear and rubbing noted at the corners and covers, with wear and cracking at the joints. There is minor foxing and staining noted.