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DIGBY, Sir Kenelme

Two treatises: in the one of which, the nature of bodies; in the other, the nature of man's soule, is looked into: in way of discovery of the immortality of reasonable soules.   London: John Williams, 1645.

2 parts in 1. 4to. [xlviii], 429; [x], 143, Separate title pages. With text woodcuts, but without the engraved portrait found in some copies. Calf-backed marbled boards. An excellent copy from the libraries of Geo. Tho. Robinson with his bookplate, a contemporary signature of Tho. Burroughs, and the signature and stamp of Howard A. Kelly. $1,200.00

First English edition, originally published in Paris (in English) the prior year. This is the author's most important scientific work, in which he outlines the first atomistic system of the seventeenth century. Digby discusses such topics as Descartes' identification of matter; deals with motion, affirming Galileo's theory of falling bodies; and describes his experiments with the magnet, learned from Gilbert. He also treats of hearing and sound, vision and colours, sensation, memory, voluntary movements, and of particular interest touches on the question of whether innate behavior may be modified by conditioning, a subject which was later discussed by Pavlov.


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