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LAMARCK, Jean Baptiste de (1744-1829). Recherches sur les causes des principaux faits physiques. Paris: Maradan, seconde anne de la Rpublique .
2 volumes, 8o (208 x 136 mm). Half-titles, engraved plate by Bovinet after Marchal, folding letterpress table. (Occasional foxing or discoloration.) Original pastepaper wrappers, later hand-lettered paper spine labels, UNCUT (backstrips and covers chipped and frayed).
FIRST EDITION of the first of Lamarck's three full-length treatises on chemistry. Although Lamarck's chemical theories are often dismissed because of his continued belief in the four elements, they are of interest because of their central importance in the later development of his theory of evolution. His view of the natural evolution of chemical compunds paralleled his theory of the evolution of living species, but in reverse: in his view only living beings could produce chemical compounds, an aberration from the natural tendency of inorganic matter to gradually decompose into its constituent elements, in the process producing all known inorganic substances. This mineral hierarchy of being had in common with Lamarck's theory of species evolution an emphasis on the "gradual and successive production of forms, while denying the relevance of defined species" (Norman). Duveen, p. 334; Wellcome III, p. 435; Norman 1260.
[LAMARCK]. Discours d'ouverture d'un cours de zoologie, pour l'an XI. [Paris, 1803]. 8o (215 x 135 mm). 23 leaves. Half-title, drop-title. (Marginal soiling, occasional foxing). Contemporary plain orange wrappers (soiled). FIRST EDITION. Norman 1266. (3)
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