De la Recherche de la Verité. Ou l'on Traite de la Nature de l'Esprit de l'homme, & de l'usage qu'il en doit fair pour éviter l'erreur dans les Sciences. Septieme Edition. Revûe & augmentée de plusieurs Eclaircissemens.
A Paris, Chez Christophe David..., 1721. 2 volumes in 1. 4to, 251 x 186 mms., pp. [xxiv], 386; [x], 399 [400 404 index], 4 [5 "Corrction" 6 blank, 7-8 Approbation and Privilege], printed in double columns, diagrams in text, woodcut ornaments, contemporary calf, gilt spine, remains of red leather label; front joint cracked (but firm), upper rear joint slightly cracked, top and base of spine chipped, spine dried, with an armorial bookplate on the front paste-down end-paper. Malebranche (1638-1715) published this work in 1674 - 1675, and the last edition published in his lifetime, the sixth, provided the textual source for this edition. It was translated into English in 1694 by Thomas Taylor. Malebranche's work was read with interest and enthusiasm by 18th British century philosophers. In his Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith alluded favourably to Malebranche on the passions; and Hume may have had what Malebranche in mind when he wrote his famous dictum about reason being a slave to the passions: in V, xi, of the above book, Malebranche writes, "The Mind is such a Slave to the Imagination, that it always obeys when the Imagination is over-heated.... [Some men] find Pleasure in living by the Impressions of their Passion, and suffer inward Pain in resisting it; which is sufficient to make Reason, that commonly descends to be the Slave to Pleasure, to Argue in such a manner as may best defend the Cause of it." Malebranche was one of the philosophers that George Berkeley was first attracted to, and Berkeley called on him in Paris in 1715. Shortly afterwards, Malebranche died, and Berkeley's 18th century biographer and editor, Thomas Stock, recorded that "in the heat of disputation [Malebranche] raised his voice so high, and gave way so freely to the natural impetuosity of a man of parts and a Frenchman, that he brought on himself a violent increase of his disorder, which carried him off a few days after." The London wits responded to this news by noting that Berkeley was the occasional cause of the death of the great occasionalist.
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Keywords: Philosophy truth prose