- Purchase/rental options available:
This essay argues for Edward Young’s central position as a Counter-Enlightenment figure. It rejects a critical tradition that has aligned his popular poem, Night Thoughts (1742–45), with Newtonian physico-theology and Enlightenment forms of religiosity. Through a detailed reading of Night Thoughts, its reception history, and other of Young’s neglected writings, the essay explores Young’s critique of emerging secular ideas of reason. It shows Young’s engagement with metaphysical debates over the knowledge of God’s nature that were at the root of early fissures between Newtonians and Lockeans.