8vo, xxxi, , 340 (the last page with list of books printed by Valvasense); woodcut title-page vignette, initials, head- and tailpieces; a little light foxing, some very faint damp staining towards the end; a very good copy in contemporary stiff vellum, gilt lettering and inked roman numerals to spine, red edges; a few marks; circular blue ink stamp to title-page, contemporary ownership inscription of F. Philippus of Poggio Mirteto to foot of title-page and his book label to facing flyleaf.
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Trattato di psicologia nel quale si ragiona della natura dell’anime umane, e degli altri spiriti, della loro excellenza sopra i corpi, della intelligenza, della volunta, della immortalita ...
First edition of the polymath Barbieri’s treatise in which he argues that the soul is an ‘active power’. Barbieri’s text tackles the interrelation of the body and soul, the nature of space, will and freedom, argues for the superiority of the spiritual over the corporeal and against the theory of innate ideas, and attempts to provide proof of the soul’s immortality. In the course of his discussion, Barbieri confronts Leibniz’s ‘monads’ and doctrine of pre-established harmony, and sets himself in opposition to Locke and, in particular, to Antonio Genovesi.
Barbieri (1719–1791), a native of Vicenza, had a long-running interest in the soul. In addition to the Trattato, he published De coniunctione animae et corporis in 1742, attributing the union and separation of soul and body to divine will, and Nuovo sistema intorno l’anima delle bestie in 1750. But his publications covered an enormous range, including works on Virgil’s Aeneid, the nature of lightning, pleasure and pain, motion, rivers, the Immaculate Conception, Stoic philosophy, natural religion, and time in relation to man and God. His theories were consistent with the fundamental principles of the Catholic religion and opposed to rationalism, sensualism, and materialism.
Rare: in the UK and US we have only traced copies at the British Library, Chicago, New York Public Library, and Yale.
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SWOBODA, Hermann. Harmonia animae.
First editions, all rare, the first two being foundational works in the formation of the theory of biorhythm. Swoboda’s early studies on the recurrence or periodicity in phenomena acquired a psychological character and application in his work since his encounter and brief experience of analysis with Freud in 1900, an association which Fliess made the ground for his accusations of plagiarism against Swoboda, when Perioden was published. Perioden examines the spontaneous recurrence of memory representations after 18-hour, 23-hour, and 23-day periods. Although Swoboda does not make any reference to Freud’s theories in his work, Freud discusses his pupil’s research in the revised editions of The Interpretation of dreams.
A PHRENOLOGIST’S TAKE POPE, Alexander.
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First edition thus: Pope’s Essay on man edited, with many notes, by the phrenologist Samuel Wells. ‘Looked at from a phrenological stand-point, this Poem exhibits rare beauties not seen, or rather not fully appreciated, by other eyes’ (preface). Phrenological thinking was influential in 19th-century psychiatry. Wells’ notes here combine his discipline’s mixture of neuroanatomy and moral philosophy with textual criticism in a remarkable, if idiosyncratic, reading of a classic.