This article deals with the epistemology of Richard Burthogge (1638-1705). Friend and correspondent of Locke, Burthogge published two important epistemological treaties, the Organum Vetus & Novum (1678) and the Essay upon Reason (1694), in which he developed a particular theory of knowledge close to idealism and conceptualism. In this theory he 1) elaborated an instrumental conception of logic; 2) limited the boundaries of reason to sensible experience; 3) conceived the mind as a center of activity, energy, and operations; 4) established that all sensible knowledge is filtered by modi concipiendi, such as substance, quantity, quality, and causality; 5) stated that knowledge is merely phenomenal, namely it concerns only the objects as they appear and not as they really are; 5) established that objects have no reality and sense if not in relation to the mind and that they are framed by a priori rules that are constitutive of reason. The aim of the article is to examine in detail Burthogge’s theory of knowledge and to show his original position within the historical and cultural setting of his time.
Keywords: Burthogge, Locke, Kant, Epistemology, Sensation, Mind