17 June 2008
MACLAURIN, Colin (1698-1746). An Account of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophical Discoveries, in Four Books. London: Printed for the author's children and sold by A. Millar, et al., 1748.
4o (288 x 227 mm). Half title. 6 folding engraved plates (some minor occasional offsetting). Contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt, red morocco spine label, speckled edges (joints cracked, some minor scuffing). Provenance: Plummer of Middlestead (armorial bookplate, library shelf sticker from Sunderland Hall).
FIRST EDITION, LARGE-PAPER COPY of Maclaurin's statement of Newtonian theory. A mathematician and younger contemporary of Newton's, Maclaurin believed in Newton's theory of calculus and in the relationship between natural philosophy and mathematics. In this work, which was published posthumously by subscription, Maclaurin writes on Newton's discoveries and methods of investigation and also includes a long history of 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" (DNB). Babson 85.
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