Rare Philosophy Books for Sale Online
Raptis Rare Books is a trusted antiquarian 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.
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Venice: Aldus Manutius, September, 1502.
Rare first edition of Herodotus‘ history of the Persian Wars, one of the most important texts edited by the great scholar-printer-publisher. Folio, bound in contemporary vellum, woodcut title in Greek and Roman letter, verso with dedication in Latin, text in Greek letter throughout with spaces for capital letters, woodcut device on title and last page. Aldus claims in the dedication that he corrected the text from multiple exemplars, one of the few instances where such a claim by him is justified and can be verified. He was the first to have access to the ‘Florentine’ codices, where Valla had used the so-called Roman family of manuscripts for his translation. The printer’s copy was discovered in Nuremberg by Brigitte Mondrain in 1993 (Scriptorium 49 , pp. 263-273). The History was designed to match the Aldine Thucydides of four months earlier: they share a paper stock, all types and the number of lines per page. Ahmanson-Murphy 50; Isaac 12782; Laurenziana 64; Renouard, Alde 35:8; Sansoviniana 67. In excellent condition with light rubbing and wear, bookplates to the pastedown, some light toning to the text, occasional Greek and Latin annotations in a c.17th-century hand, small repairs to the final four leaves. An exceptional example of this landmark work, rare and desirable in contemporary vellum.
Price: $32,000.00 Item Number: 96588
“The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat": Rare First Edition of Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich; Signed by Him
CT: Ralston Society, 1937.
First edition of this classic bestseller, which has sold over 100 million copies. Octavo, original cloth. Boldly signed by Napoleon Hill on the front free endpaper. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. This is the first example of a first printing we have seen signed. Rare and desirable.
Price: $30,000.00 Item Number: 89533
Extremely rare first Latin edition of Galileo's revolutionary Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
Systema Cosmicum in Quo Quatuor Dialogis, de Duobus Maximis Mundi Systematibus, Ptolemaico et Copernicano. [Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems].
Strasbourg: D. Hauttius for the Elzevir, 1635.
Rare first Latin edition of Galileo’s epoch-making Dialogo, the summation of the extraordinary mathematician’s astronomical thought and the work which directly precipitated his 1663 trial and judgement for heresy. Preceded only by the 1632 edition in Italian. Small octavo, bound in full contemporary vellum, engraved additional title page, full page engraved frontispiece portrait of Galileo by Jacob van der Heyden, woodcut diagrams, with the final leaf of errata. This Latin edition includes two tracts in the appendix not in the Italian edition of 1632, and it is the only major work of Galileo’s to be published outside Italy during his lifetime. The two added Latin tracts are the introduction to Kepler’s Astronomia nova (pp. 459-464), and a letter by Paolo Antonio Foscarini defending the truth of Copernicanism and rebutting the charge that it conflicted with scripture (pp. 465-495). With the appendix by P.A. Foscarini which contains an attempt to reconcile the Copernican views with the Holy Scripture. In near fine condition. Exceptionally rare, as the work was rigidly suppressed from the start.
Price: $28,000.00 Item Number: 93890
Rare Subscribers Issue: First editions of the celebrated translations of Homers Iliad and Odyssey by Alexander Pope in Rare Contemporary Calf Binding
London: Bernard Lintot, 1715-26.
First editions of Alexander Pope’s monumental illustrated translations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. Quarto, 11 volumes. Uniformly bound in full contemporary calf, gilt tooling to the spine with red morocco labels. Some rubbing to the spine and extremities, a very good set overall, scarce and desirable in contemporary calf.
Price: $25,000.00 Item Number: 4143
Philadelphia: C. Sherman, 5605, 1845-46.
First edition of the “first English translation of the Pentateuch in America,” the 1845 Hebrew-English Bible by one of the most prominent and influential figures in American Jewish history. Octavo, 5 volumes. Translated by Isaac Leeser. Bound in contemporary polished calf, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, rebacked. Lightly rubbed, moderate wear. A very nice example of a scarce and important work.
Price: $22,500.00 Item Number: 49020
The Illustrious Hugo Grotius of The Law of Warre and Peace with Annotations in III. Parts and Memorials of the Author’s Life and Death.
London: Printed for T. Warren and William Lee, 1655.
First edition in English of Grotius’ foundational work on international law. Small octavo, bound in full contemporary calf with red morocco spine label lettered in gilt, engraved frontispiece portrait of the author. In very good condition. Rare, with no other examples appearing at auction in the last 80 years.
Price: $22,500.00 Item Number: 111091
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves": First Edition of Viktor Frankl's Classic Work Man's Search For Meaning; Signed by Him
Boston: Beacon Press, 1959.
First edition in English of Frankl’s classic work, which was later titled Man’s Search For Meaning in 1962. Octavo, original cloth. Boldly signed by Viktor Frankl on the title page. Near fine in a very good dust jacket. Translated by Ilse Lasch. Preface by Gordon Allport. Originally published in German, in 1946 under the name Ein Psycholog erlecbt das konzentrationslager. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Signed first editions are exceptionally rare and desirable.
Price: $22,000.00 Item Number: 105790
“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
Cambridge, MA: Belknap 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. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Books signed by Rawls are rare.
Price: $22,000.00 Item Number: 99758
First Edition in English of "One of the Most Important Texts of the Twentieth Century" Martin Heidegger's Being and Time; Signed by Him
New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1962.
First edition in English of the book that “changed the course of philosophy” (Richard Rorty). Octavo, original cloth. Signed by Martin Heidegger on the front free endpaper. Fine in a very good dust jacket with some wear to the rear panel. Translated by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Exceptionally rare signed, as no signed examples have appeared at auction in the last 50 years.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 35056
Original signed artwork from Thomas Merton. In the last decade of his life, while living as a hermit-monk in dialogue with the world, Thomas Merton created a body of visual art, drawing from the Zen Buddhist tradition. When he was a student at Columbia University, Merton sought out a Hindu monk named Bramachari for counsel. The monk advised Merton to follow his own Christian tradition to find what he was most deeply looking for. A strong admirer of Gandhi, Merton also noted how Gandhi, a Hindu, had found a congenial ‘ second home’ of sorts in the Christian Sermon on the Mount. In the 1950’s Merton began exploring Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism. He thought he found some resonance between Zen and the Desert Fathers. Merton sent a copy of his study of the Desert Fathers to Daisetsu Suzuki, the leading exponent of Zen in the west. They began a long correspondence in the late 1950’s, and Suzuki’s influence can be seen in Merton’s artwork. Includes a letter from activist W.H. Ferry, which reads, “4/3/68 For Mary Sue Dilliard: Daisetsu Suzuki told Father Tom Merton in 1965 that the only way finally to understand Zen was to practice calligraphy. This is the result: one of Tom’s earliest calligraphs. W.H. Ferry.” On the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions letterhead, which Ferry was the Vice President. Matted and framed, which measures 13 inches by 15 inches. Calligraphy drawing measures 9 inches by 12.5 inches. On the verso of the frame, it includes various Merton material including numerous clippings. Original artwork by Merton is exceptionally rare in the marketplace.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 17032
“All the sacred rights of humanity are violated by insisting on blind obedience”: First edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's landmark work A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
London: J. Johnson, 1792.
Rare first edition of this landmark work in both Enlightenment philosophy and the history of feminism. Octavo, bound in full morocco, marbled endpapers. In near fine condition with some light toning to the text, contemporary name to the title page. Housed in a custom slipcase. An exceptional example.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 110854
The Indian War of Independence of 1857; signed by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and from the famed library of Raja Shamraj Rajwant Bahadur
, c. 1909.
First edition in English of this highly influential work on the history of the 1857 rebellion by “one of the makers of free India.” Octavo, original cloth with gilt titles to the spine and front panel, patterned endpapers, folding map. Signed by the author on the half-title page. From the famed library of Raja Shamraj Rajwant Bahadur with his ownership initials and library notes to the front free endpaper noting that the book was “purchased on 1-3-1943” (prior to Gandhi’s assassination) and that the author’s autograph was obtained subsequently on 23-12-1957 in Bombay. Indian nobleman Raja Shamraj Rajwant Bahadur assembled India’s greatest library, famed for its diverse collection of rare antiquarian manuscripts and important books. Tipped in is a 1958 newspaper clipping from The Times of India adhered to the pastedown which reads in part, “Dr. C.P. Ramaswami Alyar said here today that the Indian people owed a debt of gratitude to Mr. V.D. Savarkar for his contribution to revolutionary thought and as such he was entitled as being one of the makers of free India.” In very good condition. Uncommon, the only signed example of this work we have seen.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 106594