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La langue des calculs, ouvrage posthume et ?mentaire. . . . (With) Laromigui?, Pierre (1756-1837). Paradoxes de Condillac
Paris: Charles Houel, 1798. First edition. Condillac, ?ienne Bonnot (1714-80). (1) La langue des calculs, ouvrage posthume et ?mentaire. . . . 8vo. [4], 484, [2, errata]pp. Paris: Charles Houel, An VI [1798]. 198 x 125 mm. (2) Laromigui?, Pierre (1756-1837). Paradoxes de Condillac. [2], 82pp. Paris: l'Imprimerie de Guilleminet, 1805. Together 2 items, bound together in 20th century quarter morocco gilt, marbled boards. Occasional foxing, otherwise fine. Engraved portrait of Condillac tipped to verso of front free endpaper. (1) First Edition of a pioneering work on the philosophy of mathematics. A 2-volume 12mo edition was issued later the same year. "It was through his last works-La logique and, especially, La langue des calculs-that Condillac exercised the most decisive influence on the philosophical taste of the generation of scientists immediately following his own. Therein, like his predecessors in the rationalist tradition, he looked to mathematics as the exemplar of knowledge. He parted company with them, however, in developing the preference he had expressed in his early work for the analytic over the synthetic mode of reasoning. Geometry had lent itself to the abuses of the framers of systems, and it was algebra that would exhibit how the operations of any proper science are only those of a 'well-made language.' Algebraic terms consist of a set of exact symbols. By convention they always mean the same thing. They are combined and manipulated according to rules of a perfectly exact syntax. Algebra, indeed, is at once a language and a method of analysis. By contrast, ordinary language is an inaccurate and clumsy instrument all rusted and corrupted by centuries of sophistry and superstition. To compare it with algebra would reveal the difference between science and the imperfections of life in society. "(Dictionary of Scientific Biography). This work appeared as the final volume of the Oeuvres philosophiques, and on its own as above. The separate issue does not have the volume number on the half title, and the errata page relates only to this work, whereas in the collected issue it is part of the errata for all the volumes.(2) First Edition. A critique of the Lange des calculs by the French philosopher Pierre Laromiguière, a pupil of Condillac and one of the great French thinkers of the nineteenth century.
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