This volume contains the selected discourses of four seventeenth-century philosophers, carefully chosen to illustrate the tenets characteristic of the influential movement known as Cambridge Platonism. Fundamental to their beliefs is the statement most clearly voiced by Benjamin Whichcote, their leader by common consent, that the spiritual is not opposed to the rational, nor Grace to nature. Religion is based on reason, even in the presence of 'mystery'. Free will and Grace are not mutually exclusive. The editor's comprehensive introduction delineates (...) the main principles of the CambridgePlatonists, in the light of their heritage. It compares their attitude to contemporary thought, stressing their mistrust both of institutionalised religion and of the rising tide of materialism. The sermons are reprinted from the original texts and fully annotated with comparisons and references to a wide range of works. The editor also includes a useful list for further reading, biographical notes and a comprehensive index. (shrink)
Some characteristics of the CambridgePlatonists -- Benjamin Whichcote (1609-1683) -- John Smith (1616-1652) -- Ralph Cudworth (1617-1685) -- Nathaniel Culverwel (1618?-1651) -- Henry More (1614-1687) -- Peter Sterry (d. 1672).
Prologue.--Some characteristics of the CambridgePlatonists.--Benjamin Whichcote (1609-1683)--John Smith (1616-1652)--Ralph Cudworth (1617-1685)--Nathaniel Culverwel (1618?-1651)--Henry More (1614-1687)--Peter Sterry (d. 1672)--Epilogue.
This collection of essays looks at the distinctively English intellectual, social and political phenomenon of Latitudinarianism, which emerged during the Civil War and Interregnum and came into its own after the Restoration, becoming a virtual orthodoxy after 1688. Dividing into two parts, it first examines the importance of the CambridgePlatonists, who sought to embrace the newest philosophical and scientific movements within Church of England orthodoxy, and then moves into the later seventeenth century, from the Restoration onwards, culminating (...) in essays on the philosopher John Locke. These new contributions establish a firmly interdisciplinary basis for the subject, while collectively gravitating towards the importance of discourse and language as the medium for cultural exchange. The variety of approaches serves to illuminate the cultural indeterminacy of the period, in which inherited models and vocabularies were forced to undergo revisions, coinciding with the formation of many cultural institutions still governing English society. (shrink)
The cambridgeplatonists exemplify the fear that newtonian natural philosophy subverts the status of traditional moral and religious beliefs, Which are strongly supported by the innate idea doctrine since it justifies them independently of the senses and the material universe. Isaac barrow, Friend and teacher of newton, Also employs the doctrine approbatively to support his metaphysics as a science of basic principles that constitute the foundation of natural science. Locke's rejection of the doctrine is analyzed and it is (...) suggested that the platonist's treatment of the active role of the mind in sensation could have been developed in eighteenth century britain if locke's polemic had not been so successful. (shrink)
Discussion of the CambridgePlatonists, by Constantinos Patrides and others, is often vitiated by the mistaken contrasts drawn between those philosophers and late antique Platonists such as Plotinus. I draw attention especially to Patrides’s errors, and argue in particular that Plotinus and his immediate followers were as concerned about this world and our immediate duties to our neighbours as the CambridgePlatonists. Even the doctrine of deification is one shared by all Platonists, though it (...) is also here that genuine differences between pre-Christian and Christian exegesis can be found. All, it can be said, hope and expect to join ‘the dance of immortal love’, but Christian Platonists had a deeper sense of God’s ‘humility’ in His Word’s material and temporal manifestation. Not Olympian Zeus but the Crucified Christ was their preferred image of divine involvement, and their better guide to heaven. (shrink)
Matthew arnold maintains in the nineteenth century the renaissance school of the cambridgeplatonists. for them, reason and religion are by no means at odds: reason is in fact "the candle of the lord." for matthew arnold in "literature and dogma", christianity will prevail only by being shorn of its supernaturalist elements and set on its true rational ground. ernst cassirer has shown how the cambridgeplatonists bridge the gap between the italian renaissance and the german (...) humanists of the "goethezeit", chiefly through shaftesbury. arnold accordingly finds in herder and goethe the corroboration of his revered countrymen glanvill, whichcote, more and smith. (shrink)
Draft version of essay. ABSTRACT: Benjamin Whichcote developed a distinctive account of human nature centered on our moral psychology. He believed that this view of human nature, which forms the foundation of “Cambridge Platonism,” showed that the demands of reason and faith are not merely compatible but dynamically supportive of one another. I develop an interpretation of this oft-neglected and widely misunderstood account of human nature and defend its viability against a key objection.