LAMARCK, Jean Baptiste.
Recherches sur les Causes des Principaux Faits Physiques…
A Paris: Chez Maradan,… Seconde Année de la République .1794
2 volumes, 8vo, pp. xvi, 375, 1 engraved plate; 2 leaves, pp. 412, 1 folding letterpress table. Half-titles. Pp. 401–402 misbound at the end, some light foxing and small stains, margins of first and last leaves in vol. 2 stained from binding. Contemporary cat’s paw calf, flat spines gilt with two green morocco labels (several small worm holes or tracks in the leather, glazed surface removed from a few patches).
FIRST EDITION. Lamarck (1744–1829), the noted biologist and evolutionist, had pronounced chemical theories and they were an important part of his ideas about nature and evolution. He was an adversary of Lavoisier’s anti-phlogistic theory and proposed the four-element theory (earth, air, water, and fire). Lamarck believed that these four elements “have no attractive for one another but tend to separate unless constrained by force… He proposed a new ‘pyrotic theory’.” (Partington, III, p. 490). Lamarck attempted to account for a great number of chemical and physical phenomena such as sound, electricity, magnetism, colour, and vaporisation with his system. “In this work Lamarck sets forth his views on the immutability of species and attacks the theory of the spontaneous origin of life. The book is interesting in the history of chemistry, because Lamarck attacks Lavoisier’s anti-phlogistic theory” (Duveen). Cole 739. Duveen, p. 334. Neville II, p. 4.