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Physices Elementa Mathematica


Author: Willem Jacob Storm Van's Gravesande

Publisher: Johannem Arnoldum Langerak

Year Printed: 1748

Edition: First

Printing: First

Condition: Very Good

eBook: Google eBook - First Edition 1742 Edition

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Pages: 1074

Height: 11 inches

Width: 4.5 inches


Publisher: Johannem Arnoldum Langerak, 1748.
Text in Latin. 4to, 1,074 pages in 2 volumes, plus 44 page appendix.
Latin text. Stunning set of volumes bound in contemporary mottled calf, spines richly gilt in compartments contained in sympathetic custom made cloth slip case for extra protection. Title-pages in red and black, engraved vignette on both titles, and numerous engraved folding plates. In Very Good Condition.

Willem Jacob Storm Van's Gravesande (1688-1742) was the earliest influential exponent of the Newtonian philosophy in continental Europe. The scientific reputation of Gravesande is enshrined in this book, which he constantly corrected and amplified in later editions.

Easily the most influential book of its kind, at least before 1750. It was a larger, better-argued, and more philosophical work than most of its predecessors; moreover it leaned heavily on Opticks (including the queries) as well as on the Principia. One should therefore distinguish between Gravesande's roles as an exponent of Newtonian concepts (the rules of reasoning, the theory of gravitational atttraction and its applications in celestial mechanics, theory of matter, theory of light, and so forth) and as an exponent of an empiricist methodology disdaining postulated hypotheses.

The strenghth of his exposition was in his perfection of the method of justifying scientific truths either by self-evidence or by an appeal to experimental verification in the manner already begun by Keill and Desaguliers. Yet, Gravesande's teaching and his Elements were by no means the sole vehicle for the introduction of British empiricism to the Continent, although probably they were the most important (DSB).

A scarce and stunning set in a spectaculary ornate contemporary calf binding!!