Paris, Guillaume Desprez, 1663.
12mo [144 x 91 mm] of (14) ll., 232 pp., (4) ll. and 2 folded plates out of text. Full brown granite-like calf, spine ribbed and decorated, top of the spines previously repaired, sprinkled edges. Contemporary binding.
First edition of the founding treatise of the principles of hydrostatics in contemporary binding.
Bibliotheca Osleriana, n° 3625; Bulletin Morgand et Fatout, n°4298; Tchemerzine, V, 59; Brunet, IV, 400; Dibner 143; Norman 1650; Maire II/1, 179 f.; DSB X, 334 & 340, 13.
Precious copy with the errata and the 11 faults not yet corrected during printing.
“First edition, published by F. Périer, Pascal’s brother-in-law, one year after his death. We find at the end 2 engraved and folded plates.” (Catalogue de Backer, n°760).
Pascal undertakes to search for the cause of the effects he observed, both by the method of difference (this is the experiment of emptiness into the void) and by the method of variations (it is the great experiment he talks about in a letter to Périer, and which the latter realized on the Puy-de-Dôme in 1648).
He shows that the gravity or pressure of the air, which suspends quicksilver (mercury) in the barometric tube, is the cause of all the observed facts, and allows to considerate them as special cases of a universal proposition of the balance of liquors.
With these works, Pascal inaugurated experimental science and appeared as the first and one of the greatest among modern physicists, at the same time as an extraordinary theorist of the scientific method.
“The highly persuasive ‘Traitez’, assembling and coordinating earlier results and recent discoveries, are characterized above all by their rigorous experimental method and by the categorical rejection of Scholasticism. In hydrostatics, Pascal continued the investigations of Stevin, Galileo, Torricelli, and Mersenne… The ‘Traitez’ are indisputably a classic of seventeenth-century science”. (DSB).
The present edition is illustrated with 2 large folding plates illustrating the different experiments of Pascal (245 x 170; 235 x 170 mm).
This edition was printed six years before Les Pensées, at the same Printer-Bookseller “Guillaume Desprez” in Paris in 1663. The first edition of Les Pensées in contemporary morocco à la Duseuil is extremely rare and we do not know any copy of this scientific and literary first edition in this similar condition.
Precious volume preserved in its first Parisian binding in contemporary decorated calf.