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Book Description
[MALEBRANCHE, Nicholas.] De la Recherche de la Verité. Où l’on traitte de la nature de l’esprit de l’homme, & de l’usage qu’il en doit faire pour éviter l’erreur dans les sciences. Quatriéme edition reveu, & augmentée de plusiers eclaircissemens. Two volumes. [36], 496, [10]pp; 585, [11]pp., 6 plates. Full contemporary mottled calf, spines gilt in compartments and with original labels. One joint slightly cracked but firm, and one headcap chipped. Ownership signatures of Andrew Fletcher [M.P. for Haddington 1748-1768] on the front end paper, and also of Caroli Lemprier, Coll: Pemb, 1726 on the title-pages. 12mo. A Amsterdam, chez Henry Desbordes. 1688. ~ The result of Malebranche’s decade-long study of the Cartesian method and its results in mathematics and natural philosophy. It is primarily this text which provides the basis for Malebranche’s reputation in the modern period. As its full title indicates, the Recherche focuses on the principal sources of human error and on the method for avoiding those errors and for finding the truth. The first five books enumerate the various errors deriving from the senses, imagination, pure understanding, inclinations and passions, respectively, and a sixth book is devoted to the Cartesian method of avoiding such errors through attention to clear and distinct ideas. The centerpiece of the third book, on pure understanding, is a defense of the claim that the ideas through which we perceive bodies exist in God. Tucked away in the final book, on method, is a critique of “the most dangerous error of the ancients,” namely, the Aristotelian position that there are secondary causes in nature distinct from God. ref: Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy.
Author MALEBRANCHE, Nicholas.
Date 1688

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