London: Macmillan and Co., 1874. 2 volumes. 8vo. xiv, 463; vii, [i], 480 pp. FIRST EDITION. Frontispiece woodcut of the author’s logical machine and text diagrams. Original cloth, both volumes rebacked with original spines laid down (both are darkened), edges of covers somewhat worn; interior excellent. From the library of Arnold Thackray with his bookplate pasted over a larger bookplate of the Bradford Library and Literary Society explaining their lending rules on front paste-downs. Item #14736
First edition of the author’s most valuable contribution to logic and methodology. Jevons (1835-1882) was a prominent English logician and political economist. Considered a landmark in the philosophy of science, this work contains practically all of the author’s fundamental ideas on logical doctrine, including his investigation of the principles of pure logic, his analysis of induction, and his discussion of the theory of probability and the relation between probability and induction.
The “logical piano” on the engraved frontispiece of the first volume is a fascinating device invented by Jevons that allowed the reduction of logical operations to a simple mechanical routine. Although this machine was first introduced in 1870, some of its features can be traced in modern computer designs.