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    Description

    Colin MacLaurin. An Account of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophical Discoveries, in Four Books...Published from the Author's Manuscript Papers, by Patrick Murdoch...London: Printed for the Author's Children: and Sold by A. Millar and J. Nourse..., 1748.

    First edition, large quarto, xx, 392 pages, six folding engraved plates. Recent half calf over marbled boards. Spine lettered in gilt with five raised. Some interior professional archival restoration (including mounting of title page and other preliminary leaves, otherwise in very good condition. With an unobtrusive contemporary library stamp from the Inner Temple Library.

    "Some time after Newton died in 1727 John Conduitt asked [Scottish mathematician Colin MacLaurin (1698-1746)] to collaborate in the writing of his biography; the project lost momentum with Conduitt's death in 1737 but MacLaurin continued with his part in it and the work was published posthumously in 1748 as An Account of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophical Discoveries. MacLaurin discusses Newton's method of investigation and of 'philosophizing', as well as his discoveries, and begins with a long history of natural philosophy since the ancients, in which he again asserts the importance for religion of sound natural philosophy. Though a number of other general expositions of Newton's thought were published during the eighteenth century, MacLaurin's Account has long been recognized as the leading authoritative statement of mainstream Newtonianism. As with his prize-winning Treatise on Percussion of 1724, one of the priorities of his Account was to combat the rival natural philosophy promulgated by the followers of Leibniz" (ODNB).


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    Auction Dates
    February, 2008
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
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