A Discourse of Things above Reason. Inquiring Whether a Philosopher should admit there are any such. By a Fellow of the Royal Society. To which are annexed by the Publisher (for the Affinity of the Subjects) some Advices about judging of Things said to Transcend Reason.

  • [Boyle, Robert]
  • London: Printed by E.T. and R.H. for Jonathan Robinson 1681
  • ESTC R11885.


SKU: 5949 Category: Tag:


FIRST EDITION, second issue, 8vo, pp. [iv], 94, [2, blank], 100. Contemporary sheep, boards ruled in blind with a blind roll along joints. Some soiling and spotting, a couple of leaves creased, short tear to middle blank. Rubbed and marked, spine rather worn and defective at ends, joints cracked but holding, corner of flyleaf torn away. Numerous sums and pen trials to endpapers, among them an ownership inscription: ‘Susan Horn’s Book, 1790, Wallcot Place’.


An unsophisticated copy of one of the most important works from the last decade of Boyle's life, in which he demonstrates his fully developed thoughts in exploring major theological and philosophical issues. With this and several other works of the 1680s 'he made a profound contribution to contemporary debates regarding the true relationship between God and the natural world, and man's potential for comprehending this' (ODNB). It takes the form of a conversation between four speakers, one representing Boyle, who contends that the intellect itself is among the things above its own reason. There are two parts to the work, the first unquestionably by Boyle, the second of uncertain authorship and of less lively and original argument.
This is the second issue, in which the final gathering has been reset on a wider measure to allow the addition of some 20 lines of text previously omitted from the end of the second part.

Location & Opening Times

3a & 4a Haddington Place, Edinburgh, EH7 4AE

Opening Hours

Open seven days a week, 11am - 5pm

On Thursdays late night opening until 8pm