City Readers Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library
William Wollaston (1660-1724)
William Wollaston (; 26 March 1659 – 29 October 1724) was a school teacher, Church of England priest, scholar of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, theologian, and a major Enlightenment era English philosopher. He is remembered today for one book, which he completed two years before his death: The Religion of Nature Delineated. He led a cloistered life, but in terms of eighteenth-century philosophy and the concept of natural religion, he is ranked with British Enlightenment philosophers such as Locke, Berkeley, and Hume.
Wollaston's work contributed to the development of two important intellectual schools: British Deism, and "the pursuit of happiness" moral philosophy of American Practical Idealism, a phrase which appears in the United States Declaration of Independence.