On mathematical concepts of the material world [in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A, Vol. 205,].

London, Dulau & Co, 1906.

4to, pp. 465-525, [1]; a fine copy, wholly unmarked, in the original printed wrappers, preserved in glassine.

£1750

Approximately:
US $2441€2026

Make an enquiry

Added to your basket:
On mathematical concepts of the material world [in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A, Vol. 205,].

Checkout now


First edition of one of the earliest of Whitehead’s works, the first attempt to tacke the question of the nature of the material world through the symbolism of formal logic.

‘The importance of this paper is frequently overlooked or underestimated as an antecedent of Whitehead’s later work. […] In the paper Whitehead comes very close to enunciating a possible world view that bears a strong resemblance to the one that finally emerged in Process and Reality (1929). Whitehead wrote “On Mathematical Concepts” in 1905, at a time when he was two years into writing the Principia […] Not surprisingly therefore much of the paper deals with logical formalisms’ (R. A. Ariel).

In the same year, while working on the Principia, Russell also independently published a paper, On denoting. ‘Both Whitehead and Russell, looking back later in life, regarded their respective essays as among the finest pieces of work they had produced (UW 466; LK 39). Both employed their common work in mathematical logic ... as a guide in the formulation of their respective papers. Yet because of the difference in outlook between the two men, one essay becomes a penetrating analysis of common language, while the other becomes a synthesis of possible world views and, indeed, a stepping stone to a cosmology’ (Robert A. Ariel, A Mathematical Root of Whitehead’s Cosmological Thought, ‘Process Studies’, vol. 4, no. 2, 1974, pp. 107-113).

You may also be interested in...

BURLAMAQUI, Jean Jacques.

Principes du droit naturel.

First edition of the first work, bound with a very early edition of the second work. The Droit politique was first published posthumously in 1751 as the necessary companion to the Droit naturel; when in contemporary bindings, they are sometimes found together in various combinations of editions.

Read more

THE PORT ROYAL LOGIC [ARNAULD, Antoine, and Pierre NICOLE.]

La logique ou l’art de penser, contenant, outre les regles communes, plusieurs observations nouvelles propres à former le iugement.

Scarce first edition of the work known as the Port Royal Logic. The authors were leaders of the Port Royal movement, and the book displays the distinctive tone of earnest piety for which the movement became famous. La Logique was the most famous logic text of the seventeenth century and set the form of manuals of logic for the next two hundred years. In particular, its division of the subject into the theory of conception, of judgment, of reasoning, and of method established a psychologistic approach which dominated the field until the time of Frege.

A handbook on method rather than a study of formal logic in the strict sense, La Logique was strongly and consciously Cartesian: a development from Descartes’ Regulae rather than Aristotle’s Prior Analytics. It nevertheless made important technical advances, most notably in its distinction between the comprehension and extension of a term (a development of the medieval distinction between significatio and suppositio and a forerunner of Hamilton’s distinction between intension and extension); in its quasi-mathematical treatment of the rules of distribution, conversion and syllogistic; and in its formulation of the deduction theorem.

Read more