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Coke, Zachary [possible pseud. of Henry Ainsworth]. The art of logick; or the entire body of logick in English. Unfolding to the meanest capacity the way to dispute well, and to refute all fallacies whatsoever. London: Pr. by Robert White for George Calvert, 1654 [i.e., 1653]. 8vo (17.6 cm, 6.9"). , 222 pp. $600.00
First edition: a systematic, philosophical approach to the rigors of logical thought. The authorship of this work is debated, with some sources accepting the title-page attribution to Zachary Coke and others suggesting Brownist clergyman Henry Ainsworth (1571–1622), while still others describe the text as heavily indebted to an unauthorized, abridged translation of Bartholomäus Keckermann's Systema Logicae; Harvard notes that "the 'Advertisement to the reader' in the second edition (1657) states that Coke obtained a manuscript of Henry Ainsworth & 'printed it as his own.'" Regardless of whether this work was actually done by Coke's hand or another's, Marco Sgarbi notes that "there is no doubt that Coke's logic was the most complete logical handbook in English written before Locke's Essay" (The Aristotelian Tradition & the Rise of British Empiricism, p. 198).
The present example appears to be the variant printing of the first edition as described by the University of Illinois, with line 32 of p. 179 giving "F acies" (instead of "Fallacies"); ESTC and Thomason suggest that the actual printing date was 1653. => Printed legend "Cokes Art of Logick in English." vertically on a blank between the front free endpaper and the title-page; the relic of a ream wrapper.
Binding: Notably elegant period-style quarter speckled calf and marbled paper–covered sides, spine with gilt-stamped leather title-label, raised bands, and blind-tooled decorations filling compartments.
Provenance: Front free endpaper with early inked inscription of M[atthew?] Bakewell; half-title and title-page each with early rubber-stamp of S. Davies. Later in the residue of the stock of the F. Thomas Heller bookselling firm (est. ca. 1928).
ESTC R9220 (variant); Wing (rev. ed.) A804B (formerly C4986); Thomason E.1436. Binding as above; endpapers with offsetting from previous leather, front one chipped at edges, age-toning generally with page edges browned/dust-soiled. Small spots of pinhole worming to upper inner margins of roughly first half of volume, just touching some top lines without affecting legibility; old waterstaining across lower outer corners variably reaching text; a few pages showing traces of red around edges, presumably from now-shaved original red edge staining. => A solid, pleasing copy of this fairly uncommon treatise. (40076) Please RESHELVE This.
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