Amsterdam: L. Elzevir, 1644.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #002898
Principia philosophiae. Amsterdam, L. Elzevir, 1644, , 310,  pp., device on title, woodcut illustrations, some full page, with the blank leaves at end of preliminaries and at the end; [bound with] Specimina philosophiae: seu Dissertatio de methodo recte regendae rationis, & veritatis in scientiis investigandae: Dioptrice et Meteora. Ex Gallico translata, & ab auctore perlecta, variisque in locis emendata. Amsterdam, L. Elzevier, 1644, , 331  pp., device on title, several woodcut illustrations and diagrams in text. 2 works in 1 volume, 4to (194 x 150 mm). Contemporary full brown morocco, blind- and gilt-ruling and gilt-decoration to spine and boards, spine with 4 raised bands, upper board with central gilt-tooled coat of arms showing a leg crossed by a diagonal band, lower board with central gilt lettering "ALEX. / GAMBALO / NGA / A RIMINEN / IV. VTR / D", lacking free endpapers, chipping to lower spine, wear to extremities, corners scuffed. Light uneven browning and minor spotting of text, a few pages soiled. Provenance: Alessandro Gambalunga family, Rimini; ink inscription to foot of title-page. Very good copy. ----
I.: Guibert 118-119 nr. 1. STCN (5, i.a. BL London). BN Paris (2). Willems 1008. Guibert 104-105 nr. 1. STCN (3, i.a. BL London). BN Paris (5). Willems 1008. NLM/Krivatsy 3116; Norman 622. - FIRST EDITION OF DESCARTES' SYSTEM OF PHYSICS, in which he developed his theory of vortices. Based in part on his then unpublished work Le monde, which treated the creation and function of the universe in completely mechanistic terms, Descartes' Principia provides a systematic statement of his metaphysics and natural philosophy. The first part, Dc principiis cognitionis humanae (Of the Principles of Human Knowledge) deals with the nature of motion, rest, force, and action. He defines motion in Book II and distinguishes the difference between translation and 'the force that brings about this translation.' Descartes was careful in the Principia to qualify his mechanistic Copernican views with the idea that all motion is relative. 'His vortical theory allowed him to argue that since the earth is at rest in its surrounding medium it remains unmoved, although it, together with its entire vortex, necessarily circles the sun' (Norman). Descartes' system represents a truly comprehensive look at the universe in a fundamentally new, mechanistic and non-teleological way. His vortex theory was the starting point for all serious work in physical theory in the mid-l7th century, including Newton. The fourth and final part of the work contains the first scientific theory of magnetism.
II.: Guibert, p. 104; NLM/Krivatsy 3116; Tchemerzine II, p. 777; Willems 1008; Norman 623. - FIRST LATIN EDITION of the Discours de la méthode, which omits the treatise Géometrie. It includes the first appearance of the Cartesian sound-bite: 'cogito, ergo sum' Although separate works, these two Elzevir publications often appear together.
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