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First edition, first impression (by Crété) of Claude Bernard's most influential work. Subsequent impressions from the stereotype plates were made by E. Martinet. The systematic animal experimentation to which Bernard devoted his career resulted in significant discoveries in the areas of nervous physiology, the mechanisms of poisoning and the physiology of digestion. While these discoveries were first described in technical papers and lectures, the present work offered Bernard's own personal analysis of scientific method and has become a classic in philosophical literature.
Presentation copy, inscribed by the author to the director of the National Archives between 1868 and 1871. An autograph letter signed by Bernard to the same Alfred Maury is inserted, in which he refers to political and social cataclysms [the Franco-Prussian War, the Paris Commune] and expresses his worries about the future of science in France.