The Theory of Immoral Sediment

I need Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments for a workshop I am attending. So I found what looked to be a reasonable offer on a hardcover version on Amazon.

I got the "book," and the bastages printed 57 pages out of 400! Nowhere in the listing does it say "radical abridgement of the actual book." Yes, they do list the pages correctly, but I am not in the habit of checking that count before I order a book: I usually expect to get all the pages along with the cover!

These people selling books no longer under copyright on Amazon are often fraudsters, it seems. On another occasion I received a copy of Berkeley's Alciphron that was merely a photocopy of an old edition, and such a bad photocopy that it is essentially unreadable.

9 comments:

  1. Don't you check the seller ratings, as well as make sure that those ratings are based upon a large number of votes?

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    1. Obviously I ought to! But I was in a rush this time: I needed to order a bunch of things at once, fast, for the workshop.

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    2. Just a word of advice for old public domain books, always check to see if the publisher is affiliated with *Penguin Group*, I've always had good luck with them. Here's a listing of their affiliated publishers:

      http://www.us.penguingroup.com/static/pages/publishers/index.html

      Another option is to get an eReader and just download them for free on the internet. The *Gutenberg Project* is a great source for out-of-print/out-of-copyright books, unfortunately they don't have this particular book on their site though. Personally, I'm still stuck in the paper age when it comes to books, I only use online versions to see if I'm interested.

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  2. I haven't had that bad of an experience, but I've had experiences that are bad compared to my "average" experience. When I buy used books I try to find affordable "very good" books, even if they're slightly more expensive than "good" books. But, sometimes sellers list books as "very good" even when they're just "good," or just as often "acceptable." So, I'll get a book in horrible condition for a price that corresponds to "very good." I'm just too lazy to return it.

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  3. Kessinger Publishing is notorious for doing things like that (offering excerpts of various works and charging a lot) as well as many others. And not to mention the text is virtually unreadable. It’s like an ink smear across the pages with major typos to the point you can’t decipher the words.
    The only other publishers that I had good luck with besides Fetz suggestion is Forgotten Books. I bought a copy of Knight’s Risk, Uncertainty, and Profit from Forgotten Books and it was highly readable. There were a few pages of circles and underlining however you could still read the text on those pages.
    You could have gotten the Liberty Fund edition for a little cheaper and a lot better quality. I got a used copy and it came basically in like new condition. Here is a link for LF edition, http://www.amazon.com/Theory-Sentiments-Glasgow-Edition-Correspondence/dp/0865970122/ref=tmm_pap_title_6

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  4. Kessinger Publishing is notorious for doing things like that (offering excerpts of various works and charging a lot) as well as many others. And not to mention the text is virtually unreadable. It’s like an ink smear across the pages with major typos to the point you can’t decipher the words.
    The only other publishers that I had good luck with besides Fetz suggestion is Forgotten Books. I bought a copy of Knight’s Risk, Uncertainty, and Profit from Forgotten Books and it was highly readable. There were a few pages of circles and underlining however you could still read the text on those pages.
    You could have gotten the Liberty Fund edition for a little cheaper and a lot better quality. I got a used copy and it came basically in like new condition. Here is a link for LF edition, http://www.amazon.com/Theory-Sentiments-Glasgow-Edition-Correspondence/dp/0865970122/ref=tmm_pap_title_6

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  5. If you can get it, I recommend Liberty Fund's paperback edition of that work:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0865970122/

    Unfortunately, it seems there's a shipment delay if you buy it through Amazon at the moment. A book store might carry it, though.

    You can download a PDF of the edition here:

    http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=192&Itemid=99999999

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  6. Wow I am genuinely surprised that such a distributor didn't get dinged by other people. (I'm not being sarcastic.) That is reprehensible.

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