Discours de la Methode pour bien conduire sa Raison & chercher la verité dans les Sciences. Plus La Dioptrique. Les Meteores. Et la Geometrie. Qui sont des essais de cete Methode. René DESCARTES.
Discours de la Methode pour bien conduire sa Raison & chercher la verité dans les Sciences. Plus La Dioptrique. Les Meteores. Et la Geometrie. Qui sont des essais de cete Methode.
Discours de la Methode pour bien conduire sa Raison & chercher la verité dans les Sciences. Plus La Dioptrique. Les Meteores. Et la Geometrie. Qui sont des essais de cete Methode.

The Foundation of Modern Scientific Method

Discours de la Methode pour bien conduire sa Raison & chercher la verité dans les Sciences. Plus La Dioptrique. Les Meteores. Et la Geometrie. Qui sont des essais de cete Methode.

Woodcut printer’s device on title & woodcut illus. & diagrams in the text (several full-page). 78 pp., 1 leaf, 413, [34] pp. Small 4to, cont. English panelled calf (small & careful repairs to head & tail of spine), cont. English fore-edge paper label lettered “Cartes.” Leyden: J. Maire, 1637.

First edition, and a fine copy in a contemporary English calf binding with a delightful fore-edge label reading “Cartes.” This great classic of science is Descartes’s first published book and his most important. In it, he determined his method for obtaining real knowledge by the natural light of reason. Descartes stated that everything must be questioned so that we may discover something that is beyond doubt. At last, Descartes was left with one certainty: Cogito, ergo sum — “I think, therefore, I am.” From this central proposition stems all modern scientific and philosophic thought.

Descartes appended here the “Meteores,” “La Dioptrique,” and “La Geometrie” as examples of his method. “La Geometrie” is his most important mathematical work (according to D.S.B., IV, p. 55, his “magnum opus”), in which he laid the foundation of the new analytical geometry. The other two treatises are concerned with his optical researches and contain the earliest statement of Snell’s law of refraction.

Descartes also applied his physiological ideas in the Discours. His discussion of Harvey’s discovery of the circulation of the blood is the first mention of it by a prominent foreign scholar.

A fine, unpressed, and charming copy, preserved in a red morocco-backed box.

❧ Dibner 81. En Français dans le Texte 90. Horblit 24. Printing & the Mind of Man 129. Sparrow, Milestones of Science, 54.

Price: $200,000.00

Item ID: 7677