The Gospel of Materialism
BUCHNER, Louis. Kraft und Stoff. Empirisch naturphilosophische Studien. In allgemein verstandlicher Darstellung. Frankfurt am Main: Verlag von Meidinger Sohn & Cie. , 1855.
First edition. Octavo (7 1/16 x 4 5/8 inches; 179 x 117 mm). xvi, 269, [3, imprint and ads] pp.

Publisher's blind-stamped brown cloth with gilt spine lettering. Edges speckled. Some browning to endpapers, small owner's stamp to front endpaper. A small bit of wear to head of the spine. An excellent copy.

"Berkeley denied the existence of matter. Büchner declared that nothing else existed. It was not however the idealist philosophy of Berkeley that the Materialist school was concerned to oppose so much as the application of vitalistic ideas to scientific problems. The vitalistic view of creation is that all substances, whether organic or inorganic, are actuated by a vital spark or force which is the cause of growth and which determines their form". Experiments and studies leading to the artificial synthesis of organic compounds claimed to debunk this idea and led to the development of a school that "declared that all the phenomena of the functioning of the human body were explicable on purely materialistic lines and that it was only a question of time before this fact would be experimentally demonstrable. Büchner was not only one of the earliest, he was also the most uncompromising representative of this school. The thesis pursued in his 'Force and Matter' is that thought is as much an emanation of the brain as bile is an emanation of the liver. The mind and the spirit are products of an animal organism in the same way as motion is a product of a steam-engine" (PMM).

Printing and the Mind of Man 338.

HBS # 65356 $1,500