MORE, Henry. A Collection of Philosophical Writings. London: Printed by Joseph Downing, 1712.
Folio, contemporary mottled and speckled panelled calf; ruled and ornamented in line, with blind-stamped fleurons to corners; spine with five raised bands and modern contrasting red morocco label gilt; old label pasted to tipped-in slip; each section with new title and pagination; decorative initials, inter-textual diagrams and engravings; full-page engraving to p.154 of The Philosophick Cabbala lightly offset onto facing page; mispaginated throughout, but complete with catch words/signatures corresponding; internally very clean, with some occasional creases and small stains and very light spotting to edges, with some pages lightly foxed or toned, and some light rubbing to text in accordance with age; p. 81 of Epistolae Quatuor ad Renatum Des-Cartes with page folded and trimmed in error by binder, with no loss of text; binding patched in several places with replacement fleuron to one corner of upper board; a few small holes and light cracking along spine, overall worn in accordance with age.
The fourth, and arguably best edition, 'corrected and much enlarged'. The collected works were first published in 1662.
More’s four main works, published throughout the 1650s, can be seen as a summation of his philosophical system. Shortly after the appearance of the last of them, The Immortality of the Soul (1659), he re-issued them all together in his Collection of Philosophical Writings. They comprise An Antidote Against Atheism, and appendix which borrow heavily from Descartes’s ontological proof of the existence of God; The Enthusiasmus Triumphatus, concerned with the different kinds of religious fanaticism; a collection of Letters to Descartes (written in Latin); the Immortality of the Soul, which marks his return to Natural Philosophy and was heavily influenced by Hobbes’ Leviathan, (which had appeared in 1651); and the Conjectura Cabbalistica, notionally based on the Jewish Cabbala, which postulates that the first three chapters of Genesis contain a summation of all wisdom but hidden under a veil. In the light of his own spiritual philosophy, he explores the perceived secret interpretations it reveals, as well as digressions on the extinction of the sun, conflagration of the world, genies, animal spirits, and Thomas Hobbes.
More was one of the most respected of the Cambridge Platonists, and throughout his lifetime developed a close, and animated correspondence with the philosopher René Descartes. He was one of the first proponents of Cartesianism, attacked Thomas Hobbes and Baruch Spinoza, and was an enthusiast for the new science of Galileo and the Royal Society. His own philosophy owes much to Plato and Plotinus and is largely dedicated to the defence of religious belief against the twin forces of skepticism and atheism. (Hutton).Newton studied under him, and the young scientist was greatly influenced by More's concept of space and time as "the sense organs of God", echos of which can later be seen in Newton's own theory of absolute space and time.
In 1664 More was elected fellow of the Royal Society. Shortly afterwards, he published two works aimed at a more popular audience: his manual of ethics, Enchiridion ethicum(1667), and Divine Dialogues(1668).