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GREENE, Robert.
The Principles of the Philosophy of the Expansive and Contractive Forces Or An Inquiry Into The Principles of the Modern Philosophy, That Is, Into The Several Chief Rational Sciences, Which Are Extant In Seven Books.

pp. (xvi), 981, (ii) blank. Occasional text figure. Contemporary panelled calf, rubbed and worn, boards holding by the cords, lacking spine label, centre third of the text has a small brown mark in the lower margin diminishing at each end, and a smaller marginal mark at top and lower edges at other points, despite which the text is fresh and clean.

*ROBERT GREENE [c.1678-1730] - see DNB : ' Greene, Robert (c.16781730), natural philosopher, the son of Robert Greene, a mercer of Tamworth, Staffordshire, and his wife, Mary Pretty of Fazeley, was educated at Clare College, Cambridge, to which he was admitted as a sizar on 8 October 1694. He graduated BA in 1700, MA in 1703, and DD in 1728. Having been awarded a fellowship by the college in 1703 and ordained in London in 1705, Greene thereafter devoted his life to teaching and writing in defence of the Christian religion and of what he considered a form of natural philosophy that was not antagonistic to true religion. His conscientiousness, if not his effectiveness, as a tutor is evident in the formidable curriculum outlined in his pamphlet Encyclopaedia, or, A Method of Instructing Pupils (1707). Greene's theological position was consistent with his political attachment to the tory party as a protector of the established church: the goal of this work, as of its predecessor, A Demonstration of the Truth and Divinity of the Christian Religion (1711), was to undermine the claims of those theologians who down-played the role of the church as an interpreter of revelation by focusing on forms of natural religion that could be arrived at through the use of reason.' As he wrote in A Demonstration, 'Reason has usurp'd by its Artifice and Cunning, and its subtle and plausible insinuations, an unwarrantable Power and Authority' (p. 188). His third published work - ' The Principles of Natural Philosophy, in which it is Shewn the Insufficiency of the Present Systems....', 1712, also stressed the false role of reason - PREFACE : ' .... those Divines in our present Age, who are too fond of what they call Rational, who put too great a stress upon their reasonings from Nature'. The above title, an encyclopaedic expansion of his 1712 publication, covers the entirety of intellectual thought, since as he stated - '.... I do humbly beg Leave to Profess to the World, that I believe there is scarcely any Phenomenon in Nature, which may not be Accounted for from the same Principles [of the Expansive and Contractive Forces].' His unflagging self-confidence was expressed a little later in that Preface - ' All therefore, which I Design and Intend, is to Propose a Philosophy, which is truly English, a Cantabrigian, and a Clarensian one, as it was Born and Educated in those Places, ....... And as my Name is not much Worse in the Letters, which belong to it, than those of Galileus, or Des-Cartes...... I shall venture to call the GREENIAN.' In the Seven Books of this work, Greene discusses in Book I, the fallacies of the Mechanical Philosophy of Galileus, Hugens, Newton and Keill; in Book II, the work of Kepler, Newton and Gregory; in Book III, the Principles of Anatomy, Chymistry, Pneumaticks and Hydrostatics of Gibson, Keill, Drake, Boyle, Lemery, Freind, Wallis, Halley and others; in Book IV, Opticks, Dioptricks, Catoptricks, of Des-Cartes, Hugens and others; in Book V, the Metaphysicks and Logicks, of Locke,; in Book VI, the Ethicks of Locke, Des-Cartes, Wollaston and Clarke; in Book VII, the Principles of Algebra, Mathematicks, Fluxions and all that can go to prove ' ...that the Evidences for Revelation are Exceedingly Superior to Those of Philosophy and Reason..'. At the end, Greene has included a collection of eleven miscellaneous essays in Latin, on a variety of topics, including Conics, Newton's Infinite Series, Circles, Vacuum, Motion, Gravity, Friction. In his will, Greene directed that his body should be dissected and his skeleton hung in the library of King's College, Cambridge, and that ' excepting my bones, all the scattered fragments of my carcass should be collected together, and decently interred in All Saints, Cambridge, as near the Communion Table as possible, having formerly officiated 3 yeares in that church....'. Sadly, it seems that none of his requests was followed, save perhaps that his bequests funded the provision of two silver cups to be given as College Prizes [ now commuted to medals, since 2011, as being easier to keep safe]. All his books are rare in commerce, though present in many academic collections. An early ink note on the end-paper of the above copy states '5 L', presumably the purchase price, a considerable sum in the eighteenth century. SOTHERAN Bibliotheca Chemico-Mathematica, II, 8630, 1921, has a copy of the 1712 title [designated 'rare'], as has CUSHING #G383. No copy of his work is recorded from the other major personal collections, such as Duveen, Ferguson, Bolton or Osler. A fascinating, if eccentric, contribution to the discourse on Natural and Revealed Religion, cf. also the Boyle Lectures and the Bridgewater Treatises.

Printed at the University Press, by Cornelius Crownfield, and are to be Sold by Him, E. Jefferys, and others. Cambridge and London.

Date Published: 1727. Folio.

Stock No. 60349

Price: 1,500.00