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Dissertation Physique à L’Occasion du Nègre Blanc.

Dissertation Physique à L’Occasion du Nègre Blanc.

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Dissertation Physique à L’Occasion du Nègre Blanc.

by Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis

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About This Item

8vo. Full 18th century-style morocco binding by Philip Dusel, gilt ruled, gilt decorations on spine, 5 raised bands, spine label with gilt letters. A Leyde 1744. First Edition of Maupertuis' pioneering work on embryology and genetics.

Maupertuis, a French mathematician, philosopher and man of letters, was the Director of the Académie des Sciences, and the first President of the Prussian Academy of Science, at the invitation of Frederick the Great. This present dissertation "was written after an albino Negro appeared in Paris. A scientist, philosopher, and original thinker, Maupertuis was years ahead of his time in many aspects of biology, particularly embryology and genetics. His arguments against the then-prevailing theory of peformation and for epigenesis were so close to the idea of evolution that he is a true forerunner of Darwin and Mendel. His theories and observations are contained in this work, which he may have had published anonymously to avoid repercussions from Church authorities." (Elmas, ed. Heirs of Hippocrates)
"Maupertuis argued convincingly that the embryo could not be preformed, either in the egg or in the animalcule (spermatozoon), since hereditary characteristics could be passed down equally through the male or the female parent. He rejected the vitalistic notion that some 'essence' from one of the parents could affect the preformed fetus in the other parent, or that maternal impressions could mold the characteristics of the offspring. A strict mechanist, although a believer in the epigenetic view of the origin of the embryo, he looked for some corporeal contribution from each parent as a basis of heredity." (Dictionary of Scientific Biography). Binding very slightly rubbed; a few pages with light water stains to upper margins, not affecting text; o/w clean and bright internally, with clear print and ample margins throughout. Fine. A very interesting sidelight into black history.


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Dissertation Physique à L’Occasion du Nègre Blanc.
Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis
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First Edition.
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French & Italian; Math & Science;

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About the Seller

George Robert Minkoff, Inc.

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2018
Great Barrington, Massachusetts

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Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...
Morocco is a style of leather book binding that is usually made with goatskin, as it is durable and easy to dye. (see also...
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...
Raised Band(s)
Raised bands refer to the ridges that protrude slightly from the spine on leather bound books. The bands are created in the...
An abbreviation for otherwise

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