The True Intellectual System of the Universe (Cambridge Platonists)

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9781855063570: The True Intellectual System of the Universe (Cambridge Platonists)
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The Cambridge Platonists occupy a special place in seventeenth century European intellectual history for they were active precisely at that moment when the modern world view was being created and to which they were important contributors. Their concern was to foster new knowledge, as exemplified by the natural sciences, from within a religious and more specifically a Christian neoplatonic framework. Their enemy was the materialism of Thomas Hobbes and the slide towards materialism which they also came to detect in Descartes and other contemporaries. Through their writings they encouraged an atmosphere in which both the natural sciences and religious belief could flourish as the two most potent exemplifications of the power of the rational intellect. The two most important members of the school philosophically were Ralph Cudworth and Henry More. Together they set out to defeat both materialism and atheism by showing that the explanations of the atomistic philosophers required also a spiritual element, which was itself supported by both reason and observation. Their works remain classic texts of liberal protestant Christian philosophy, and are indispensable for a proper understanding of the relationship between the natural sciences, religion and philosophy in the period from Galilee to Newton. The Camb ridge Platonists (1) : Ralph Cudworth INTRODUCED BY G. A. J. ROGERS The Cambridge Platont,fts series begins with Ralph Cudworth's The True Intellectual System of the Universe. This massive volume is both a history of materialism and a seminal attack on ath(@ism and is the most important and influential work of the Cambridge Platonists. 'Fhls Thoemmes Press reprint, including an Introduction by G. A. J. Rogers, is of rhe 1845 edition, which contains the invaluable Notes of J.L. Mosheim, and Bircfi's'Life'.

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