London: Printed for J. Tonson, 1732. First edition. Pages 211-358 of Volume II contain the third edition of Berkeley’s Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision, originally published in 1709. Engraved title-page vignettes. Corners worn, one gathering of Vol. I with light foxing, old, neat pencil notes in two gatherings of Vol. II. Contemporary owner's signature and date 1732 on front pastedown, early to mid-twentieth century rubberstamp of another owner on the same pastedown. A good, clean copy. Contemporary paneled calf, rebacked, with original backstrips laid down, back board in a tasteful later calf. Two volumes, octavo. , 350; , 358 pp., with the final blank Z8 in Volume I, but not the final blank 2A4 in Vol. II. Item #15928
Berkeley (1685-1753) wrote the Alciphron during the years 1729 to 1731 while relaxing in Newport, Rhode Island, where he was awaiting funds (which never came) for his projected college in the Bermudas. The book attracted more attention than any of his previous works. The dialogues it contains constitute a defense of Christianity from the point of view of an Anglican divine. “Alciphron is regarded as an outstanding example of English literature among works on philosophy. It is described on the title-page as ‘an Apology for the Christian Religion, against those who are called Free-Thinkers,’ and the Dialogues defend revealed religion against the current beliefs of the Deists. Luce places Alciphron with Joseph Butler’s Analogy, 1736, as the only comparable book on Christian apologetics in the eighteenth century” (Keynes, p. 37).
Keynes 15. Rothschild I, 374.