Journal of the History of Philosophy 37 (2):271-300 (1999)

Michael B. Gill
University of Arizona
I. Introduction Most philosophers today have never heard of Benjamin Whichcote (1609-83), and most of the few who have heard of him know only that he was the founder of Cambridge Platonism.1 He is well worth learning more about, however. For Whichcote was a vital influence on both Ralph Cudworth and the Third Earl of Shaftesbury, through whom he helped shape the views of Clarke and Price, on the one hand, and Hutcheson and Hume, on the other. Whichcote should thus be seen as a grandparent of both the rationalist and the sentimentalist strands of eighteenth century British ethical theory. In this paper, I will elucidate the particular ethical positions of Whichcote’s that played such an important role. Whichcote’s thought is interesting in its own right, moreover, as a lens for examining the implications of certain prevalent religious and moral commitments. In what follows, then, I will also seek to show that Whichcote’s profoundly theistic view of human nature is ultimately incompatible with the belief that is fundamental to his Christianity. Perhaps the idea of an irresolvable conflict between Whichcote’s Christianity and his theism sounds at first a bit paradoxical. I hope, though, that by the end of this paper it will be clear how, for many 17th century rationalists, such a conflict was virtually inevitable
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DOI 10.1353/hph.2008.0832
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The Dual Aspects Theory of Truth.Benjamin Jarvis - 2012 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (3-4):209-233.

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