Works of John Sergeant

This project is to make some of the philosophical works of John Sergeant (ad 1623–1707 or 1710) more readily available and easy for researchers to cite. The project consists of hosting a high quality presentation of the following philosophical texts:

  • The Method to Science (London, 1696).
  • Solid Philosophy Asserted, Against the Fancies of the Ideists: or, The Method to Science Farther Illustrated. With Reflexions on Mr. Locke’s Essay concerning Human Understanding (London, 1697)
  • Ideæ Cartesianae (London, 1698)
  • Non-ultra: or a letter to a learned cartesian settling the rule of truth, and first principles upon their deepest grounds (London, 1698)
  • Transnatural Philosophy, or Metaphysicks: Demonstrating the Essences and Operations of all Beings whatever, which gives the Principles to all other Sciences. And shewing the perfect Conformity of Christian Faith to Right Reason, and the Unreasonableness of Atheists, Deists, Anti-trinitarians, and other Sectaries. (London, 1700).

For an attempt at giving a complete list of his works, see my Google Sheet work-in-progress: Works of John Sergeant.

The goals of this project include removing all typographical errors from scanning, improve readability by changing archaic and pre-standardized spelling (‘metaphysicks-> ‘metaphysics’; ‘vnderstanding’ -> ‘understanding’; ‘compleat’->’complete’), and ease of reference/citation in a manner similar to that afforded on sites such as,, and

Above all, my aim is to preserve the text for distribution rather than alter it with my unique flair. My more noticeable changes will, at the conclusion of the work, be strictly optional, as I have carefully layered my work. I have a mind toward text criticism in that I make variations only in a principled way (such principles to be described in the future editor’s introduction), and only when such changes are documented and rationale given (with a revision history to establish provenance). As a matter of preview, my edits will be less extensive than, say, those of Jonathan Bennett (, who has made dozens of important Early Modern philosophical texts simpler to read, a boon especially to non-researchers (e.g., those in secondary and postsecondary education), but at the expense of introducing text critical concerns. I can only praise his work with hesitation.

The texts I am making available were originally public-domain according to the CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0). Public Domain Dedication ( The texts were originally retrieved from the University of Michigan’s database of Early English Books Online in conjunction with Text Creation Partnership: Ann Arbor, MI; Oxford (UK) :: Text Creation Partnership, 2003-01 (EEBO-TCP Phase 1).

For these respective sources, see: