"AN EARLY ATTEMPT AT A HISTORY OF SCIENCE": JOSEPH GLANVILL'S DEFENSE OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY, PLUS ULTRA, 1668 FIRST EDITION
GLANVILL, Joseph. Plus Ultra: Or, the Progress and Advancement of Knowledge since the Days of Aristotle. London: James Collins, 1668. 12mo, period-style full paneled calf gilt. $2800.
First edition of Glanvill's impassioned defense of the Royal Society against Aristotelians, led by Puritan minister Robert Crosse. Handsomely bound.
"Glanvill's major writings related to the [Royal Society] were Plus ultra, or, The Progress and Advancement of Knowledge since the Days of Aristotle (1668) and Philosophia pia, or, A discourse of the religious temper and tendencies of the experimental philosophy which is profest by the Royal Society (1671). Plus Ultra began in a conflict with a local puritan minister and Aristotelian, Robert Crosse… Crosse even composed anti-Glanvill ballads to be sung in alehouses. Conceived as a supplement to Thomas Sprat's History of the Royal Society (1667), Plus Ultra, an early attempt at a history of science, praised the new philosophy of the Royal Society as the most productive yet found. Conceived in one conflict, it led to another, an elaborate pamphlet war with Glanvill and Thomas Sprat defending the society against the attacks of Crosse's associate, the Aristotelian physician Henry Stubbe, author of Legends no histories, or, A specimen of some animadversions upon the history of the Royal Society … together with the ‘Plus ultra’ reduced to a ‘non plus’ (1670), which accused the society of being intellectually élitist and crypto-Catholic… Glanvill argued that science glorified God in his works and confuted atheism, materialism, and superstition. Glanvill, whose public life was one of untiring controversy, also recommended natural philosophy as an aid against 'the Humour of Disputing'" (ODNB). Wing G820. Bookplate; occasional ink or penciled marginalia and annotations.
Early signatures with marginal paper repairs; A6 with upper corner renewed. Text clean; period-style binding handsome and fine.