London: Printed by T.B. for J. Taylor, 1696. 8vo. [xii], 444 pp. Third edition in English. Contemporary calf, blindstamped decoration on covers, morocco spine label. Other than minor staining on the endleaves, a very nice copy. Item #16093
celebrated and influential seventeenth-century treatise on logic by the Cartesians, Arnauld (1612-1694) and Nicolo (1625-1695). Logic or the art of thinking is better known as the logic of Port-Royal because the authors belonged to the sect of Jansenists who had their home at the convent of Port-Royal. The work deals with concept (idea), judgment, reasoning and method, with an interesting argument against negative numbers, later acknowledged by Leibniz. Despite Arnauld’s earlier denunciation of Descartes’ theological claims, the geometric foundation of the Port-Royal Logic and its methodology owe much to Cartesian rationalism, as well as to the ideology of the authors’ fellow Jansenist, Blaise Pascal. Logic or the art of thinking has also been seen as a foundation work in probability theory, specifically in its attempts to axiomatically organize a science and to show its logical structure, taking as a model geometry. Divided into four parts, the authors reflect upon ideas, or upon the first operation of the mind, which they refer to as apprehension; considerations of men about proper judgment; the nature and various kinds of reasoning; and the methods of demonstrating truth.
The 1818 English edition served as the basic text of logic at both Cambridge and Oxford.