[ARNAULD, Antoine (1612-1694) and Pierre NICOLE (1625-1695)]. La Logique ou l'art de penser: contenant, outre les Regles communes, plusieurs observations nouvelles, propres à former le iugement. Paris: Charles Savreux, 1662.
12o (143 x 87 mm). Collation: A-V12. 240 leaves, paginated 1-473 . Errata page at end. Woodcut title vignette, woodcut and typographic head-pieces and initials. (A2 and last leaf rehinged, marginal tear to title, a few mostly marginal filled wormholes, occasional dampstaining, some light browning, small chip to upper edges.) Contemporary mottled sheep, spine gilt (worn). Provenance: Catholic convent of La Flèche (Sarthe) ("Ex cath. conv. Flex(?)", 18th-century inscription on title).
FIRST EDITION of "the Logic of Port-Royal", a chief work of Jansenist thought and "one of the most important works in the history of thought on language and grammar" (S. M. Nadler, Arnauld and the Cartesian Philosophy of Ideas, Manchester 1989). A pedagogical exposé, the Logique was originally written for the son of the Duc de Luynes. Having set out to write an introduction to Logic in a day, the authors claim in the preface, they grew interested in the project and ended up devoting to it four or five days... Excusing themselves for their apparent poor taste in publishing a work conceived for private use, they explain that because many copies were circulating in manuscript, its dissemination in print would assure the correctness of the text. The printed version was considerably enlarged for the benefit of a young public. The privilege was granted to one Monsieur Le Bon, a cover for the two controversial Jansenists, who suffered ongoing persecution for their views. A systematic exposition of the application of logic and methods of reasoning, La Logique proposes the absolute supremacy of reason in man's acquisition of knowledge of the natural world, while setting aside the sphere of religion for the rule of authority and faith. The work "embodies the pedagogical principles of the schools associated with Port-Royal. For a long time it was considered an essential part of a young Frenchman's education" (Nadler). Copies of this first edition are OF GREAT RARITY. A second edition, with different imprint and pagination and without the errata, appeared later in 1662. Brunet III, 1145; Cioranescu 17e 8112 and 51257.