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    The Third Edition of The Works of John Locke

    John Locke. The Works of John Locke, Esq. In Three Volumes. London: Printed for Arthur Bettesworth, et al., 1727. Third collected edition. Three folio volumes. Approximately 12 x 7.75 inches. [iv], [xxx], 575, [1, blank], [16, Index]; [ii], 671, [13, Index]; [vi], 668, [15, Index], [1, blank] pages. With portrait frontispiece and engraved Latin epitaph inserted into volume I. Contemporary full paneled calf, boards ruled and paneled in black, burgundy gilt morocco lettering labels, six raised bands, text speckled red at edges. Joints cracking a bit (yet still quite solid), several hinges just starting, some wear to bindings, minor occasional thumbsoiling in text. Still, a near fine copy, with the text quite fresh. From the collection of Isaac Fletcher (1714-1781, "Yeoman, Quaker, Merchant and Lawyer") and his son, John (1758-1830), with their bookplates in each volume.
    This excellent edition of Locke's Works includes all of his major works, including An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Two Treatises of Government, Letter Concerning Toleration, etc. John Locke (1632-1704) "was the first to take up the challenge of Bacon and to attempt to estimate critically the certainty and the adequacy of human knowledge when confronted with God and the universe. In the past, similar enquiries had been vitiated by the human propensity to extend them beyond the range of human understanding, and to invent causes for what it cannot explain. Therefore, Locke's first task was to ascertain 'the original certainty and extent of human knowledge' and, excluding 'the physical consideration of the mind, to show how far it can comprehend the universe'. His conclusion is that though knowledge must necessarily fall short of complete comprehension, it can at least be 'sufficient'; enough to convince us that we are not at the mercy of pure chance, and can to some extent control our own destiny." (Printing and the Mind of Man).
    Printing and the Mind of Man, 164 (the first edition). Palgrave, p. 633.

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