SENGUERD, Arnold. Introductions ad Physicam Libri Sex. [with] Idea Metaphysicae Generalis et Specialis.

Utrecht, Jan Van Waesberge, 1644 [with] 1643


FIRST EDITIONS. 12mo. Pp. (xii) 522 (ii); 144. Roman letter. Woodcut printers devices to tps, ornamental initials. Armorial bookplate of Hyacinth Carrère to pastedown, contemp. pen trials to last. Light age browning, slight water stains to first few leaves, very occasional ink or other spots, a few corners dog eared. A good, clean copy in contemporary vellum, a little worn, minor ink spots to covers.

First edition of these important treatises on physics and metaphysics of Aristotle by the Dutch academic Arnold Senguerd (1610-1668). Senguerd was born in Amsterdam and studied theology at Leiden, specialising in philosophy under the Dutch logician, Franco Burgersdijk (1590-1635). He became a prolific and well-paid professor, lecturing on Metaphysics at Franeker and Utrecht. He was later appointed professor at the Amsterdam Athenaeum, succeeding from Caspar Barlaeus. His son, born in 1646, was Wolferdus Sengeurd. He also went to Leiden to study philosophy and later became professor of natural philosophy there. The Senguerd air pump is named after him.

The first work in this volume is an introduction to Aristotle’s Ad Physican. It discusses key questions which straddle the disciplines of physics and philosophy. These include the ideas of finite and infinite space, the sky, the stars, and the elements which make up the world. Later on Senguerd discusses the lives of animals and their levels of senescence. The ‘Metaphysica’ was one of Aristotle’s most important works; it had an immeasurable influence on Ancient Greece, Rome, Middle Eastern and Muslim philosophy as well as the scholastic philosophers and writers like Dante, Senguerd being no exception. Aristotle’s Metaphysics attempted to answer three main questions: what is existence, and what sorts of things exist in the world? How can things continue to exist, and yet undergo the change we see about us in the natural world? And how can this world be understood? Metaphysics is notoriously enigmatic in meaning, and became one of the most wrestled with manuscripts during this period. It is a testament to Senguerd’s intellect that he became such an influential teacher on the subject.

Bierens de Haan 4314