Our shops are open and we are processing online, telephone and email orders as normal

BOLZANO, Bernard.

Wissenschaftslehre. Versuch einer ausführlichen und größtentheils neuen Darstellung der Logik mit einer Rücksicht auf deren bisherige Bearbeiter.

Herausgegeben von mehren seiner Freunde. Mit einer Vorrede des Dr. J. Ch. A. Heinroth. Erster [- Vierter] Band.

Sulzbach: J. E. v. Seidel, 1837 Stock Code: 146120
Reserve Ask us a question

The author's magnum opus

First edition of this masterwork by Bolzano, "a towering figure in the epistemology, logic, and methodology of the first half of the nineteenth century" (Encyclopedia of Philosophy I, p. 338).

Bernard Bolzano (1781-1848) was a Roman Catholic priest and professor of the philosophy of religion at the University of Prague. "If there is any one predecessor whose work he may be said to follow with admiration, that is 'the great Leibniz'. But it may be that when he called his chief work Wissenschaftslehre he had in mind both the medieval account of logic as ars artium and also Leibniz's talk of a scientia generalis that would deal with the organization of the sciences. For the title means 'theory of science' rather than 'theory of knowledge' (Erkenntnistheorie), and the sub-title of the original edition explains that the work is 'an attempt at a detailed and in large part new presentation of Logic with constant reference to those who have worked on it hitherto'. But the work is not concerned solely with formal logic. On the contrary it professes to deal with 'all the rules to be observed in the division of the whole realm of truth into separate sciences and in the presentation of these same sciences in special treatises' Discontent with Kant's talk of distinction between form and matter had made Bolzano doubtful of the possibility of drawing any clear line between the two. He wished to separate logic from psychology and rhetoric and to insist that possibility is not to be confused with conceivability, but he thought that logic must take account of the different ways in which we come to knowledge and that it could not consist solely of analytic truths, as those conceived by Kant, since such truths would not be important enough to make a science. There is, he holds, a sense in which logic may be described as formal because it deals with forms or patterns of inferences, but this does not justify us in excluding from the scope of logic such distinctions as that between judgements a priori and judgements a posteriori (in the sense which Kant gave to those phrases)" (Kneale & Kneale, p. 359f).

Confused? Read our glossary


4 volumes, octavo (211 x 129 mm). Contemporary black paste paper boards, red spine labels, pale blue-green endpapers, bookmarkers in vols. 2-4.


Engraved folding plate at rear of vol. 1.


Ownership signature to vol. 1 rear pastedown, early annotations throughout in pencil and ink, evidencing close and careful reading (brief commentary, in a number of cases referencing Frege, exclamation marks, marginal markers, underlining, diagrams to vol. 2 rear free endpaper recto). Light wear and a little chipping at extremities, spine ends and corners bruised, later sometime discreetly recoloured, contents lightly browned and occasionally foxed, small tear to fore edge of vol. 3 leaf 4.3 (pp. 53-4), stitching visible between vol. 4 pp. 670-1, otherwise tight and square. In very good condition overall.


Risse II, 41; Venn 6.83.18-21. William Kneale & Martha Kneale, The Development of Logic, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1962.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book