Rare Philosophy Books for Sale Online

Raptis Rare Books is a trusted antiquarian online book dealer of rare and first edition philosophy books. You can view our full collection of these rare philosophy books below where you can sort by title, price, or date to help you find exactly what you’re looking for!

  • Rare First Edition of Edwards' A Careful and Strict Enquiry into the Prevailing Notions of that Freedom of Will

    Edwards, Jonathan.

    A Careful and Strict Enquiry into the Prevailing Notions of that Freedom of Will.

    Boston: S. Kneeland, 1754.

    First edition of Edwards’ most important treatise, and is generally considered to be the first great philosophical work to be written and published in America. Octavo, bound in contemporary paneled calf. In very good condition, with the bookplate of the Founding Father William Samuel Johnson of Connecticut. William Samuel Johnson was an early American statesman who was notable for signing the United States Constitution, for representing Connecticut in the United States Senate, and for serving as the third president of King’s College now known as Columbia University. An exceptional rarity with noted provenance.

    Price: $9,800.00

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  • Rare First Edition of Black's A Dictionary of Law

    Black, Henry Campbell.

    A Dictionary of Law Containing: Definitions of the Terms and Phrases of American and English Jurisprudence, Ancient and Modern.

    St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Co, 1891.

    First edition of this landmark work, the most widely cited law book in the world. Thick quarto, original cloth, red leather spine label. In near fine condition with a touch of rubbing. A superior example, most scarce and desirable in the original cloth.

    Price: $4,200.00

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  • First Edition of Bertrand Russell's A History of Western

    Russell, Bertrand.

    A History of Western Philosophy.

    London: George Allen and Unwin, 1946.

    First edition of this classic work that is universally acclaimed as the most outstanding work on the subject of Western philosophy. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by Bertrand Russell on the title page. Fine in a very good dust jacket with some light rubbing and wear. Signed copies are exceptionally rare, none have appeared at auction in 60 years.

    Price: $20,000.00

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  • "We often fail to grasp the seriousness of the menace to the jewish heritage involved in the modern ideology": First Edition of Mordecai Kaplan's A New Approach to Jewish Life; Inscribed by Him

    Kaplan, Mordecai M.

    A New Approach to Jewish Life.

    New York: Hartmore House, 1973.

    First edition of the early writings of one of the most influential philosophers in twentieth century American Judaism. Octavo, original cloth. Warmly inscribed by the author, “To Mariam Greenberg, the lady with a new heart and a new spirit, Mordecai M. Kaplan.” Fine in a near fine dust jacket with light wear.

    Price: $150.00

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  • “Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought": First Edition of John Rawls Magnum Opus A Theory of Justice; Signed by Him

    Rawls, John.

    A Theory of Justice.

    Cambridge, MA: Belnap Press of Harvard University Press, 1971.

    First edition of the author’s masterpiece. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by John Rawls on the front free endpaper. Near fine in an excellent dust jacket with some rubbing. From the library of Daniel Bell. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Books signed by Rawls are rare.

    Price: $22,000.00

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  • “Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought": First Edition of John Rawls Masterpiece A Theory of Justice

    Rawls, John.

    A Theory of Justice.

    Cambridge, MA: Belnap Press of Harvard University Press, 1971.

    First edition of the author’s masterpiece. Octavo, original cloth. Small numbers on the copyright page, near fine in a near fine dust jacket with a few small closed tears. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

    Price: $5,200.00

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  • “Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human": Exceptionally Rare First Edition in English of Aristotle's A Treatise on Government

    Aristotle; Translated by William Ellis.

    A Treatise on Government. Translated From The Greek of Aristotle.

    London: T. Payne, 1776.

    First edition of this important work on government by Aristotle. Quarto, bound in three quarters leather over marbled boards. In very good condition with light toning to the text and wear. Bookseller plate of George Gregory, Bath, Sept. 22, 1936 on the front pastedown. Translated by William Ellis. First editions are rare, with the last example appearing at auction in 1914.

    Price: $20,000.00

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  • First Edition of Adam, Eve, and the Serpent; Signed by Elaine Pagels

    Pagels, Elaine.

    Adam, Eve, and the Serpent.

    New York: Random House, 1988.

    First edition. Octavo, original half cloth. Signed by Elaine Pagels on the title page. Some dusting to the top edge, near fine in a near fine dust jacket with a few small closed tears.

    Price: $125.00

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  • Albert Einstein Autographed Signed Equation

    Einstein, Albert.

    Albert Einstein Autographed Signed Equation.

    1921.

    Albert Einstein signature with a hand-written equation, double matted and framed, with a photograph of Einstein. The equation was first published in the Annus mirabilis papers (from Latin annus mīrābilis, “extraordinary year” or “miracle year”), which are the papers of Albert Einstein published in the Annalen der Physik scientific journal in 1905. These four articles contributed substantially to the foundation of modern physics and changed views on space, time, mass, and energy. The first of these papers was titled “On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light” and proposed the idea of energy quanta. The second, “On the Motion of Small Particles Suspended in a Stationary Liquid, as Required by the Molecular Kinetic Theory of Heat,” delineated a stochastic model of Brownian Motion.  The third was “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” (later known as Einstein’s special theory of relativity), and the fourth, which this particular equation comes from, was entitled “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon its Energy-Content”, in which it is said that Einstein also deduced the most famous of all equations: E = mc2. Interestingly, Einstein never actually wrote this actual equation in any of his papers. What he wrote is “If a body gives off the energy L in the form of radiation, its mass diminishes by L/c2… the mass of a body is a measure of its energy-content”, which is  just another way to say the same thing.

    The following is an excerpt from the paper with regard to the equation shown here:

    Let there be a stationary body in the system (x, y, z), and let its energy— referred to the system (x, y, z) be E0. Let the energy of the body relative to the system (ξ, η, ζ) moving as above with the velocity v, be H0. Let this body send out, in a direction making an angle φ with the axis of x, plane waves of light, of energy 1/2 L measured relatively to (x, y, z), and simultaneously an equal quantity of light in the opposite direction. Meanwhile the body remains at rest with respect to the system (x, y, z). The principle of energy must apply to this process, and in fact (by the principle of relativity) with respect to both systems of co-ordinates. If we call the energy of the body after the emission of light E1 or H1 respectively, measured relatively to the system (x, y, z) or (ξ, η, ζ) respectively, then by employing the relation given
    above we obtain (the equation pictured).

    The entire piece measures 14 inches by 18.5 inches. A wonderful and unique piece of history, particularly in regards to this very famous paper.

    Price: $15,000.00

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  • Rare Photographic Portrait of Albert Einstein; Signed by Prominent Portrait Photographer Clara Estelle Sipprell

    Einstein, Albert (Clara Estelle Sipprell).

    Albert Einstein Signed Clara Estelle Sipprell Photograph.

    1952.

    Photographic portrait of Albert Einstein by award-winning portrait photographer Clara Estelle Sipprell. Signed by the photographer below the photograph, “Clara E. Sipprell.” In near fine condition. Matted and framed; the entire piece measures 15.5 inches by 12.5 inches. An iconic photograph of Einstein, rare and desirable signed by one of the leading portrait photographers of the 20th century.

    Price: $1,500.00

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  • Etching of Albert Einstein by Lionel S. Reiss; Signed by Both Reiss and Einstein

    Einstein, Albert; Lionel S. Reiss.

    Albert Einstein Signed Etching.

    1921.

    Etched portrait of Albert Einstein by well-known Polish-American Jewish artist Lionel S. Reiss. Signed by both Einstein and Reiss. In fine condition. Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 13.5 inches by 16.5 inches. An exceptional piece.

    Price: $9,800.00

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  • Silver Gelatin Print of Albert Einstein; Signed by Him

    Einstein, Albert.

    Albert Einstein Signed Martin Vos Photograph.

    1952.

    Photographic portrait of Albert Einstein, taken from Martin Vos’ famous image captured during Rabinadrath Tagore’s 1930 visit to Berlin. Boldly signed by Albert Einstein. Gelatin silver print, a portrait detail from the famed 1930 Martin Vos photograph, taken when Tagore visited Einstein at his home in Berlin on July 14th, 1930. In fine condition. Double matted and framed; the entire piece measures 19 inches by 22 inches. An iconic photograph of Einstein, rare and desirable signed.

    Price: $18,000.00

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  • Silver Gelatin Print of Albert Einstein; Signed and dated by Him

    Einstein, Albert.

    Albert Einstein Signed Photograph.

    1952.

    Black and white silver gelatin photograph of Albert Einstein. Signed “A Einstein 52.” Group portrait showing Einstein standing between Talmudic scholar Tamar de Sola Pool and Hadassah National President Rebecca Beldner Shulman at his Princeton home in June of 1952 during a celebration marking the commencement of building of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem. The photograph measures 8 inches by 10 inches. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 13.5 inches by 15.5 inches. An exceptional photograph of Einstein, rare and desirable signed.

    Price: $9,800.00

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  • Silver Gelatin Print of Albert Einstein; Signed and dated by Him

    Einstein, Albert.

    Albert Einstein Signed Photograph.

    1952.

    Black and white silver gelatin photograph of Albert Einstein. Signed “A Einstein 52.” Full-length group portrait showing Albert Einstein standing with Hadassah National President Rebecca Beldner Shulman and others at his Princeton home in June of 1952 during a celebration marking the commencement of building of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem. The photograph measures 8 inches by 9.5 inches. The entire piece measures 19 inches by 20.5 inches.  An exceptional piece.

    Price: $11,000.00

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  • “Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere”: Rare Photograph of Albert Einstein; Signed and dated by Him

    Einstein, Albert.

    Albert Einstein Signed Photograph.

    1951.

    Black and white silver gelatin photograph portrait of Albert Einstein. Boldly signed “A Einstein, 51.” Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 19.5 inches by 21 inches. This is the largest signed photograph of Einstein we have seen or handled.

    Price: $20,000.00

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  • Large Lithograph of Nobel Peace Prize-Winner Albert Schweitzer; Signed by Him and Artist William Sharp

    Schweitzer, Albert; Artist William Sharp.

    Albert Schweitzer Signed Lithograph.

    Signed by the artist William Sharp in pencil. Inscribed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer, “A Mr John Zuber avec mes bonnes pensees Albert Schweitzer. Lambarene 13. Juin 1960.” The translation reads, “To Mr John Zuber with my good wishes Albert Schweitzer Lambarene 13th June 1960.” Schweitzer received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life”, expressed in many ways, but most famously in founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, now in Gabon, west central Africa. The lithograph measures 14.5 inches by 11.5 inches. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 19 inches by 22.5 inches. A unique piece, rare and desirable.

     

     

    Price: $4,800.00

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  • First Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age: A Brief History of A.A; Warmly Inscribed by Bill Wilson

    Wilson, Bill.

    Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age: A Brief History of A.A.

    New York: Alcoholics Anonymous Publishing, Inc, 1957.

    First edition of this history of Alcoholics Anonymous. Octavo, original cloth, illustrated. Lengthily inscribed by Bill Wilson on the front free endpaper, “Dear Earl S. With this all my gratitude for your dedicated service and your constant friendship Ever Bill NY 9/16/58.” Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some rubbing and wear.

    Price: $4,500.00

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  • First Edition of David Hume's An Enquiry Concerning The Principles of Morals

    Hume, David.

    An Enquiry Concerning The Principles of Morals.

    London: A. Milar, 1751.

    First edition, first state of L3, with catchword “than” on recto of what Hume himself considered his masterpiece. 12 mo, bound in contemporary full calf. With half-title, errata leaf, and 3 pages of ads at end. In very good condition with light toning and wear, inscription of the Caslon Society on front free endpaper. The Caslon Society was founded by William Caslon the Elder, who was an English typefounder. The distinction and legibility of his type secured him the patronage of the leading printers of the day in England and on the continent. His typefaces transformed English type design and first established an English national typographic style. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

    Price: $3,500.00

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  • “Only the refusal to listen guarantees one against being ensnared by the truth": Rare First Edition of Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia; Signed by Him

    Nozick, Robert.

    Anarchy, State, and Utopia.

    New York: Basic Books, 1974.

    First edition of the author’s foundational text in classic liberalism thought. Octavo, original cloth. Boldly signed by Robert Nozick on the half-title page. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Signed first editions are exceptionally rare; this is the first example we have seen or handled.

    Price: $16,000.00

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  • "The prescription of the equality of human beings is not a description of an alleged actual equality among humans: it is a prescription of how we should treat human beings": First Edition of Animal Liberation; Inscribed by Peter Singer

    Singer, Peter.

    Animal Liberation.

    London: Jonathan Cape, 1976.

    First British edition of the Singer’s landmark book. Octavo, original cloth. Lengthily signed by the author on the half-title page as follows, “All the arguments to prove man’s superiority cannot shatter this fact: In suffering the animals are equal. Peter Singer.” Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Mon Mohan.

    Price: $850.00

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