Methodus admirandorum mathematicorum. Appendix ad libros. Herbornae Nassoviorum [Herborn], 1613. 2 parts in one volume in-12, vellum, red edges (Binding of the time).
First edition, with 5 folding tables. (Lalande, p. 162.)
A work dealing with the place of mathematics in the universe of knowledge, its role, its teaching and its relationship to other disciplines. Influenced by the dialectics of Pierre La Ramée and the combinatorial art of Raymond Lulle, Alsted (1588-1638), a German philosopher and theologian, devoted part of his intellectual life to a universal ordering of knowledge.
In the current state of knowledge, only two authors use the expression mathesis universalis before Descartes. The first is the Belgian mathematician Adriaan Van Roomen (Adrianus Romanus, 1561-1615) [...] The second author is the Protestant humanist Johan Heinrich Alsted, who published a Methodus admirandorum mathematicorum in 1613. This is an encyclopaedic treatise, the first part of which describes the general features of mathematics, before entering into the particularities of so-called special mathematics (arithmetic and geometry). Alsted insists above all on the methodological aspects common to the different mathematical disciplines [...]. But he also details a certain number of concepts considered common to "special" mathematics such as finite and infinite, ratios and proportions (David Rabouin, Mathesis Universalis. The idea of "universal mathematics" from Aristotle to Descartes, 2009).
Some foxing, worm gallery on several leaves sometimes affecting the text. Stained vellum.