Petty’s Of the Scale of Creatures is available in the edition by Professor Rhodri Lewis, William Petty on the Order of Nature: An Unpublished Manuscript Treatise. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, ACMRS (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies), Tempe, Arizona, 2012. The edition includes Lewis’s excellent introduction to the intellectual and religious context of the work and the process of preparing the text from the several manuscript versions held in research libraries.
Initially begun in 1676, and revised and extended across the next two years, Petty’s Of the Scale of Creatures was intended as a contribution to debate about the “scala naturae” or “chain of being” which was thought to connect all forms of life in an ascending scale from the lowest to
Citation: Clark, Robert. "Of the Scale of Creatures". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 February 2023 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=41121, accessed 02 December 2023.]