Paris: Henry le Gras, 1649.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #002758
8vo (163 x 104 mm). , 16, 286 pp. Wood-engraved French royal arms on title, tailpiece and initials. Duplicate gathering A (pp. 1-16) bound in after preliminaries. Without the final blank leaf. Contemporary vellum, boards with yapp edges, later morocco gilt-lettered spine label (vellum little soiled). Very minor occasional spotting, light age-toning of text, marginal dust-soiling to final pages, but generally quite clean and crisp. Provenance: illegible marks of erased old stamp on title-page. A fine, wide-margined and unmarked copy. ----
Norman 625; Willems 1083; Tchmerzine II, p.791; Garrison-Morton 4965; Hunter & Macalpine, Three Hundred Years of Psychiatry, p.133-34. - FIRST EDITION of Descartes' renowned philosophical treatise about the passions of the soul. This was Descartes' last work published in his lifetime, drawing heavily on the then-unpublished Traité de l'homme. It contains an extensive discussion of mind-body duality and the first description of the reflex function (and the first use of the word reflex to describe it). For Descartes, that the soul was seated in the pineal gland, which mediated interaction between soul and body. "Descartes believed the soul to be a definite entity, giving rise to thoughts, feelings, and acts of volition. He was one of the first to regard the brain as an organ integrating the functions of mind and body" (Garrison-Morton).
The publishing rights of this work were shared between Louis Elzevier and Henry Le Gras and only a small fraction of this issue bears Le Gras' address in the imprint. In three parts (Des passions en général; Du nombre & de l'ordre des passions; Des Passions particulières) and 212 articles, Descartes describes the different types of 'passions', or emotions. He notably treats of fear, hatred, anger, love, and desire, to name but a few. "L'édition de 1649 est assez rare, surtout avec l'adresse primitive" (Willems 1083). - Visit our website for additional images and information.
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