A Brief Disquisition of the Law of Nature, According to the Principles and Method Laid Down in the Reverend Dr. Cumberland’s...Latin Treatise on that Subject. As also His Confutations of Mr. Hobbs’s Principles put into another Method. With the R
[ Tyrrell, James. ]

London: Printed, and are to be sold by Richard Baldwin... 1692. First edition. With ” strip cut away across top blank margin of title-page. Early owner’s ink signature on title. A little light browning, but overall a very good copy in an attractive binding. Full modern antique-style calf. Covers panelled in blind, gilt spine with burgundy and brown morocco labels. Octavo. [96], 396, [6] pp. Witho (Item ID: 14353)

$1,500.00

James Tyrrell (1642-1718) was a political theorist and historian, best known for his Patriarcha non Monarcha (1681), which advocates the principle of a limited monarchy and disputes the doctrines of passive obedience and non-resistance. Tyrrell was also a close friend of John Locke’s, and many see the influence of Tyrrell’s thought on Locke’s important Two Treatises of Government (P.M.M. 163). The present work is an abridged English translation of Richard Cumberland’s (1632–1718) De legibus naturae (1672), which was produced with an eye to vindicating the law of nature against Hobbism. Tyrrell’s long preface drew on Locke’s unpublished work, Essays on the Law of Nature. It places Locke in the modern school of natural jurisprudence inaugurated by Hugo Grotius. Tyrrell sees this tradition in opposition to Hobbist Epicureanism. “Tyrrell's central axiom is that natural law is reducible to the duty to seek the common good of rational beings. His lengthy preface points towards two strands in eighteenth-century ethical thought: the hyper-rationalist insistence that morality can be reduced to mathematical propositions, and the modernized Stoicism which sought to show that morality was in harmony with both natural sociability and with the pattern of the divinely created universe” (Oxford DNB). See also Dictionary of Eighteenth-Century British Philosophers.

Wing T3584.

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