Rare polemic against French mathematicians, and mathematics in general

[Cartaud de La Vilate, F.]

Pensées critiques sur les mathematiques. Ou l'on propose divers préjugés contre ces sciences, à dessein d'en ébranler la certitude, & de prouver qu'elles ont peu contribué à la perfection des beaux arts.

Published 1733
Item ID 68404

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Paris, Gabriel Valleyre fils, 1733. Small 8vo (16.1 x 9.3 cm). Half-title, title page with engraved vignette; [viii], 377, [iii] pp.; several mathematical figures in the text. Contemporary full speckled calf. Spine with five raised bands. Compartments rich gilt with floral patterns; small red, gilt-bordered morocco label with gilt short title. Marbled endpapers. All edges red.

A very rare work by François Cartaud de la Vilate (pre 1700-1737); a Roman Catholic priest who, in this anonymously published work, expressed his criticism of mathematics. The work consists of seven chapters in which he denies the value of mathematics. In the penultimate chapter he tries to discredit the new methods of calculus developed by the great French mathematician Guillaume François Antoine, Marquis de l'Hôpital, and his colleague, Pierre Varignon. Cartaud was also the author of the less controversial Essai historique et philosophique sur le goût (1736). A former owner has added, in an old hand, the author's name on the title page. Boards and spine a bit rubbed. A very good copy. Not in Brunet.

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