Leiden: Jan Maire, 1637.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #003348
4to (191 x 146 mm). 78, , 413,  pp., woodcut printer's device on title, 3 section-titles, woodcut initials, numerous woodcut text diagrams and illustrations, errata, French and Dutch privilege on Kkk3-4. Bound in contemporary French calf, gilt-decorated spine with 5 raised bands and gilt lettering in first compartment, red-sprinkled edges, marbled pastedowns (leather rubbed and scratched, wear to extremities, corners bumped and scuffed, spine ends somewhat scuffed, short split to upper hinge near head of spine). Only little even browning and minor occasional spotting of text, a few small light dampstains to blank margins, lower outer corner of gatherings L to X somewhat gnawed (up to 7 mm from corner but well away form text), upper margin of leaf 3K3 verso trimmed just touching initial headline letter. Provenance: from the library of French journalist and publisher Frédéric Decazes de Glücksbierg (1958-2018). In all a very good copy, unrestored and with the hinges quite sound and flexible. ----
FIRST EDITION of the author's first published work, the foundation of all modern scientific and philosophic thought. In the first part, Descartes sets out his method of inquiry, and then illustrates it in three essays on optics, meteorology and geometry. "The purpose of the Discours of Descartes is to find the simple indestructible point which gives to the universe and thought their order and system. Three points are made: the truth of thougth, when thought is true to itself (thus cogito, ergo sum), the inevitable elevation of its partial state in our finite consciousness to its full state in the infinite existence of God, and the ultimate reduction of the material universe to extension and local movement. From those central proposition in logic, metaphysices and physics came the subsequent inquiries of Locke, Leibniz and Newton. This great work also contains scientific material of fundamental importance - his invention of analytical geometry which is the basis of geometry as we know it, treatises on optics and meteors, and the first mention of Harvey's discovery by a prominent foreign scholar" (PMM).
"Descartes contributions to the mathematical, physical and astronomical sciences were many, but his major contribution was his anonymous, first published work - a discourse on method. In this he discussed Harvey's circulation (the first distinguished foreigner to do so), advanced the necessity of mathematical proof and proposed accepting those things that cannot be doubted ... In the appendices he explained his method of analytic geometry (Vartesian co-ordinates) and treated on optics and meteors. The Dioptrique (Discourse II) contains the earliest statement of Willebrord Snell's law of refraction" (Dibner).
References: PMM, Printing and the Mind of Man 129; Dibner, Heralds of Science 81; Grolier/Horblit 24; Guibert, Bib. Descartes 1; NLM/Krivatsky 3114; Norman 621; Tchemerzine IV, 286; Peyré, En français dans le texte 90. - Visit our website to see more images!
Price: 75,000 € * convert currency
Delivery time up to 10 days. For calculation of the latest delivery date, follow the link: Delivery times
Lieferzeit max. 10 Tage. Zur Berechnung des spätesten Liefertermins siehe hier: Lieferzeiten