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Philosophical and Mathematical Commentaries of Proclus


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Second Edition in English PROCLUS. [TAYLOR, Thomas]. The Philosophical and Mathematical Commentaries of Proclus on the first book of Euclidís Elements. To which are added, a history of the restoration of Platonic theology, by the latter Platonists: and a translation from the Greek of Proclusís theological elements. In two volumes. ... London: Printed for the Author, 1792. Second edition in English. Two quarto volumes (10 1/2 x 8 3/8 inches; 267 x 211 mm). [14], cxxx, [2], 283, [1, blank]; [4], 444 pp. Bound without one leaf containing advertisements and errata. With vignette title-pages dated 1792 in both volumes as well as the canceled title-page for the 1788 edition in volume I. This edition was a reissue of the 1788-89 edition, with cancel title-pages. With numerous mathematical diagrams in the text. No copy of this second English edition or the first English edition of 1788-89 have come up for auction in at least 50 years. Contemporary full tree calf, rebacked to style. Each volume with a red and black morocco spine label. Spine lettered and stamped in gilt. Front hinge of volume I a bit cracked but firm. Top edge to page 84-85 and 171-174 in volume II a bit darkened, not affecting text. Some light foxing throughout. Previous owner's signature dated 1861 on front free endpaper. Overall a very good set. Proclus, 410?ñ485, Neoplatonic philosopher, b. Constantinople. He studied at Alexandria and at Athens, where he was a pupil of the Platonist Syrianus, whom he succeeded as a teacher. "Proclus' distinctively non-empirical approach towards physics and astronomy also influences his philosophy of mathematics, which is set out in the two prologues to his commentary on the first book of Euclid's Elements. The first prologue deals with the mathematical sciences in general, while the second prologue focuses on geometry proper. Proclus argues in great detail that the objects of mathematical sciences cannot be derived from sensible particulars by means of abstraction. Because of the imperfect and deficient character of the sensible objects one cannot derive from them objects that are as perfect and as precise as mathematical objects are. Therefore, mathematical objects reside primarily in intellect and secondarily in souls (as logoi). As universal concepts (cf. 3.2) we can grasp mathematical objects by means of recollection (anamnÍsis). Since geometrical objects are not universal, but particulars, and since by definition they possess extension, Proclus argues that their place is human imagination (phantasia). Imagination acts as a mirror and provides the mathematical objects which are projected into it by the soul with intelligible matter. By means of the latter geometrical objects gain extension and particularity. As with physics and astronomy, the ultimate aim of geometry is not the study of these extended, material objects. Rather, geometry serves an anagogical task (just as in Plato's Republic), leading the soul upwards to a study of the true and unextended causes of geometrical objects in the divine mind (In Eucl. 54.14ñ56.22). (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) HBS 67222. $2,500
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having had the material covering the spine replaced. ...[more]
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spine label
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Errata: aka Errata Slip A piece of paper either laid in to the book correcting errors found in the printed text after being...[more]
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