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S[ERGEANT], J[ohn].

The Method to Science.

Printed by W. Redmayne for the Author, and are to be Sold by Thomas Metcalf, London , 1696 Stock Code: 110050
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First edition of one of the principal works of the Roman Catholic controversialist and philosopher John Sergeant (1623-1707). "A more thoroughgoing Aristotelian critique of Locke came from... John Sergeant, who, as a Catholic, stood outside the clerical assaults emanating from the established church. Sergeant's critique of Locke was part of a more wide-ranging critique of what he called 'ideists', a category which yokes Descartes and Locke together. He targets Locke in his The Method to Science (1696) and Solid Philosophy Asserted, against the Fancies of the Ideists (1697)... His principal objection to Locke's epistemology was its implicit scepticism. he charged Locke that his natural philosophy failed to provide universal conclusions or maxims" (Sarah Hutton, British Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century, OUP 2015, p. 202). With an interesting provenance: contemporary ownership inscription at head of title page of Thomas Sandys (and one or two neat marginal corrections), possibly the "interloper" or private trader, who, in 1689, was at the centre of a court case against the East India Company.
With a later ownership inscription on the front free endpaper verso: "The property of Shaderick Penn, Bought at Harpers Ferry, Sept the 4 1819 price 1.00"; this may be an alternate spelling of Shadrak Penn Jr, editor of the Louisville Public Advertiser and "the dominant editorial voice in the state for a number of years" (John E. Kleber ed., The Encyclopaedia of Louisville, 2001, p. 569).

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Octavo (171 x 108 mm). Contemporary mottled calf neatly rebacked.


Tiny ownership inscription on front pastedown of Leonard J. Eslick of St Louis University. General light paper toning and foxing. A very good copy.


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