FIRST EDITION of MacLaurin's most important work, including a strong defense of Isaac Newton and the first full presentation and development of Newton's calculus. The William Jones- Macclesfield copy.
"Colin MacLaurin was a younger contemporary, and to some extent a protégé of Isaac Newton, and he wrote the first thorough, systematic, axiomatic development of the method of fluxions, the Newtonian version of the calculus... MacLaurin's magnum opus, the Treatise of Fluxions, published in 1742, was begun as a response to Berkeley's Analyst. MacLaurin founded the method of fluxions on a limit concept drawn from the method of exhaustions in classical geometry, avoiding the use of infinitesimals, infinite processes, and actually infinite quantities, and avoiding any shifting of the hypothesis. In addition, he went on in this treatise of over 760 pages to demonstrate that the method so founded would support the entire received structure of fluxions and the calculus, and could deal effectively with all of the challenge problems then being exchanged between British and continental mathematicians" (Oxford National Biography).
Provenance: Williams Jones, the great mathematician and champion and publisher of Newton, with his signed manuscript note on p. 621: "His collection of some 15,000 books was considered to be the most valuable mathematical library in England and was bequeathed to George Parker, the second earl of Macclesfield." The Macclesfield copy, with Macclesfield bookplates and embossed stamps in each volume.
Edinburgh: T.W. and T. Ruddimans, 1742. Quarto (234x175mm), contemporary full calf with elaborately gilt-decorated spines. With half-title in volume 1. A little worming in lower margins of first few leaves of volume 2. An outstanding set with a distinguished provenance.
Price: $16,500 .