Éléments de la Géometrie de l’Infini suite des memoires de l’Academie Royale des Sciences

FONTENELLE, Bernard le Bovier (1657-1757)]

Published by De L’Imprimerie Royale, Paris, 1727
/ Condition: Good / Hardcover
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About the Book

Bibliographic Details

Title: Éléments de la Géometrie de l’Infini suite ...

Publisher: De L’Imprimerie Royale, Paris

Publication Date: 1727

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Good

Edition: First Edition.


4to (249 x 187mm). [26], 548 pages. Title with woodcut royal printer’s device (fleur-de-lis three under crown). Folding engraved plate of figures of planes. Contemporary mottled calf gilt, marbled endpapers, spine gilt in compartments with morocco lettering label ELEMENTS DE LA GEOMETRIE; (occasional toning, light soiling and minor stains on title, light marginal dampstaining mostly in middle of volume, wormtrail and dampstaining in blank upper margins toward end, few stains in upper margin of plate, nothing severe a good book in contemporary binding). Near contemporary ink inscription French surname "Baudoin" on end-leaf (another instance cancelled) and "No. 17" on title. 1727 first edition of Fontenelle’s published theories on inifinitesimal calculus, plenty in philosophical dialogue. While Éléments de la Géometrie de l’Infini was praised by Alexis Fontaine des Bertins as an "inspiration," Fontenelle’s contemporary mathematicians did not consider his book to be a mathematical work. Fontenelle’s main desire, in line with early-Enlightenment ideals, was to make science accessible to the layman. His work laid the foundations for such discussion by taking a philosophical approach to the calculus of infinity, writing in a novelistic style. For infinity, Fontenelle studied the curvatures of the plane curves using the sines of angles of contingence, although in practice, Fontenelle’s theories contained many paradoxes. The result was that Fontenelle’s work was increased and expanded on by his supporters, famously by the Jesuit mathematician Louis-Betrand Castel. In addition, Fontenelle’s work was the basis on Fontaine’s 1731 work on the curvature of plane curves, which presented new formulas on infinity and was a highly praised work in the Paris Academy. OCLC locates several institutional copies in the US, additionally held in microform. Fontenelle’s is a classic and fundamental textbook work on geometry from the French Enlightenment-era, still containing valuable points. Bookseller Inventory # D11894

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