An Essay upon Reason, and the Nature of Spirits. Richard Burthogge.

An Essay upon Reason, and the Nature of Spirits.

London: Printed for John Dunton, 1694. First edition of a book that has become scarce in commerce. Lacking the initial blank. Woodcut diagram on p. 145. Dedication to John Locke. Binding extremities rubbed, contemporary armorial bookplate on front pastedown partly torn away, nineteenth-century book label of Rev. John James partly superimposed. A very good copy. Contemporary speckled sheep, lacking spine label. Octavo. . [6], 280 pp. Item #15953

Burthogge (bap. 1638, d. 1705) "dedicated two philosophical works to Licke, evidently seen as a prestigious ally, An Essay upon Reason and the Nature of Spirits begins with an effective restatement of his idealism, emphasizing the role of categorical concepts and making some use of Lockean argument. There are interesting suggestions as to the nature of consciousness, leading into a somewhat Spinozistic, 'harmoniously' speculative panpsychism, which ws further defended in 1699. In the last years of both their lives Burthogge corresponded with Locke, whose commentary on St. Paul adopts the interpretation of Romans 8: 28-20 (a major source of the doctrine of the elect( argued for in Burthogge's last work, published in 1702…Burthogge has received some recognition by historians of philosophy, both in the past, as by Sir William Hamilton and Ernst Cassirer, and in recent work. But it has been summary and in passing, generally with emphasis on his 'anticipation' of Kant or, less commonly, of Locke. His thought deserves fuller consideration, however, both as an illustration of what modern idealism owed to error theory and toleration theory, and for his revealing, strangely compelling arguments themselves—in their simplicity, at least, in sharp contrast to Kant's" (Michael Ayers in Oxford DNB).

Jean Yolton states in the introduction to her bibliography of Locke that a chapter of books dedicated to Locke (as in Fulton's Boyle) "would be very short," and points out that Burthogge's Of the Soul of the World, though addressed to Locke, is not in fact dedicated to him.

Price: $4,500.00

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