8vo, pp. 32; some foxing in inner margins to pp. 13-14 and a small wormhole running through the inner margin throughout, not affecting the text; a good clean copy in modern boards with a red leather spine with gilt lettering and gilt Phrygian caps; cropped inscription beginning ‘8’ at head of title-page.
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Palladium de la constitution politique, ou Régéneration morale de la France: question importante proposée à l’examen des departemens, des districts, &c., & à la decision de l’Assemblée Nationale.
First edition, rare. Written late in Le Mercier’s life, this work calls for fundamental political and administrative reform of France’s educational institutions to better serve and strengthen the revolution and the regeneration of France. The author’s conclusion pulls no punches: the universities are incompatible with a free constitution, are useless, and are hotbeds of ignorance, pride and charlatanism; the long dominance of Latin and Greek should be abandoned and the education of France’s youth no longer entrusted exclusively to tonsured Masters of Arts and monks; and the colleges – described as morally and physically harmful to the young and an obstacle to all good education – should be suppressed.
INED 2794bis; Martin & Walter 19320; May, Le Mercier de la Rivière 164; not in Goldsmiths’, Kress or Einaudi. COPAC records a copy at the British Library, while Worldcat notes only 2 further copies (Bibliothèque Nationale and Stanford).
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JESUIT LOGIC AND PHYSICS [LALANDE, Fr.]
Fair manuscript copy of a course of philosophy for the use of clerical students offering a systematic treatment of Aristotelian Logic and Physics. The initial inscription states that this course was given by a Jesuit, Fr. Lalande, to Jacques Becheau of Périgord in 1681. The course is articulated in the disputationes dealing in depth with logics and metaphysics at first, then physics and astrology in the second part. A fair example of Jesuit Aristotelianism with significant departures from Aquinas’s interpretation, this manuscripts offers an insight into the Jesuit order’s agility in adapting the received ‘calculations’ of syllogism and deduction to early-modern challenges coming from the emergence of experimental science in the age of Galileo.