Videnskaben om Naturens Almindelige Love. Første Bind (alt som udkom). (The Science of the General Laws of Nature. First volume [all that was published]).

Kjøbenhavn (Copenhagen), Fr. Brummer, 1809. 8vo. Bound in a beautiful contemporary full dark green goatskin binding with reichly gilt spine, gilt ornamental borders to boards, gilt dentelles and all edges of boards gilt. Pink end-papers. All edges gilt. Printed on good paper. Clearly a gift-copy inteded as a present from the author.
Old owner's name to front free end-paper: "L. E. Jack/ 16/9 1933". A bit of wear to extremities, but en excellent, very well preserved and completely unrestored copy. XXX,378 pp. and 11 folded engraved plates, with many figures on each.

A magnificent gift-copy of the scarce first edition of Hans Christian Oersted's first printed book (The Science of the General Laws of Nature), in which he outlays for the first time the basis of his philosophical and physical system that leads him to his discovery of electro-magnetism.

Universally famous for his discovery of the Electro-Magnetism in 1820, it is actually in this his first printed book that Oersted proposes at least three of the most fundamental theses that he were to follow for the rest of his life and which came to be the foundation for his discovery of Electro-Magnetism, namely: the crucial role that experiments and thereby empiricism play in the perception of nature; the fact that each individual phenomenon in nature in accordance with the philosophy of nature must be understood as a whole; and that the laws of nature are the same everywhere, in the smallest as in the greatest parts of the universe.

The sort of philosophy of nature that Oersted here develops aims to "include and penetrate the entire nature, and to explain it in its full context" (from "Science of the General Laws of Nature" - own translation), which is why this philosophy is also the science of the general laws of nature (that are the same everywhere). It thus not only includes the science of movement, but also that of electricity, magnetism, light, warmth, and chemical connections, such as they all follow directly from ordinary forces of nature. The path to Oested's breakthrough discovery in 1820 of the connection between magnetism and electricity, clearly stems directly from the general laws of nature that he develops in this his earliest book.

"He was an enthusiastic follower of the "Naturphilosophie" school in Germany, whose main object was the unification of physical forces, thus producing a monistic theory of the universe. It was to further this purpose that Oersted sought in actual phenomena the electro-magnetic identity of which he had already convinced himself on metaphysical grounds" (Percy H. Muir in Printing and The Mind of Man).

The work is rare in itself, but it is of the utmost scarcity in this condition. Very few gift- or presentation-copies of Oersted's earliest works are known, and this is a true rarity.

Order-nr.: 52739

DKK 25.000,00