Amsterdam: Elzevier, 1644.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #003249
Principia philosophiae. Amsterdam, L. Elzevir, 1644. , 310 pp., printer's device on title, woodcut initials, several woodcut illustrations in text, some full page, bound without the blank leaves b4 and 2Q4. [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., printer's device on title, woodcut initials, several woodcut illustrations and diagrams in text, 10 full page. 2 works in 1 volume. 4to (200 x 155 mm). Contemporary full vellum with yapp edges, spine lettered in manuscript, marbled pastedown, flyleaves gone (some soiling and spotting of vellum). Text generally crisp and clean with only very minor occasional spotting, some light dampstaining in places, short clean tear in two leaves, first title slightly dust-soiled at outer margins. A very-good, well-margined copy in untouched binding of its time. ----
I.: Norman 622; 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. - 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 Based in part on his then unpublished work Le monde, which treated the creation and function of the universe in completely mechanistic terms, Descartes' Principia provides a systematic statement of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.: Norman 623; Guibert, p. 104; NLM/Krivatsy 3116; Tchemerzine II, p. 777; Willems 1008. - 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. Visit our website to see more images!
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