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The Principles of Science. A Treatise on Logic and Scientific Method.
London: Macmillan and Co., 1874 - 2 volumes, octavo. Original brown pebble-grain cloth, spines lettered in gilt, green coated endpapers. From the library of Bowdoin College with library tickets to spines and bookplate to front pastedowns. Spines rolled and cracked but holding, hinges starting tips worn, minor foxing to contents. A very good set. Frontispiece with tissue-guard. First edition of this pioneering work on logic and induction. Six years in the making, Jevons here argues against Baconian empirical procedure and in favour of the Newtonian approach: "I endeavour to show that hypothetical anticipation of nature is an essential part of inductive inquiry, and that it is the Newtonian method of deductive reasoning combined with elaborate experimental verification, which has led to all the greatest triumphs of scientific research" (p. vii). He asserts that the empirical sciences stem from logic and takes the inverse method of probabilities as an inductive ideal, arguing that "the logical value of every inductive result must be determined consciously or unconsciously, according to the principles of the inverse method of probability" (p. vii). As early as 1865, Jevons began construction of a "reasoning machine, or logical abacus" (Papers, 4.69) which he demonstrated before the Royal Society in January 1870; it was later recognized as a forerunner of twentieth-century computers, and is held today at the History of Science Museum in Oxford (ODNB).
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2014-12-10           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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