died June 26, 1688, CambridgeEnglish theologian and philosopher.Reared as a Puritan, he eventually adopted Nonconformist views such as the notion that church government and religious practice should be individual rather than authoritarian. He became a leader of the Cambridge Platonists. In ethics, his outstanding work is A Treatise Concerning Eternal and Immutable Morality (1731), which was directed against Puritan Calvinism, the theology of René Descartes, and the attempt by Thomas Hobbes to reduce morality to obedience to civil authority. He stressed the natural good or evil inherent in an event or act, in contrast to the Calvinist-Cartesian notion of divine law. "Things are what they are," he wrote, "not by Will but by Nature." See also intuitionism; voluntarism.
* * *▪ British theologian and philosopherborn 1617, Aller, Somerset, Eng.died June 26, 1688, Cambridge, CambridgeshireEnglish theologian and philosopher of ethics who became the leading systematic exponent of Cambridge Platonism.Reared as a Puritan, Cudworth eventually adopted such Nonconformist views as the notion that church government and religious practice should be individual rather than authoritarian. In 1639 he was elected to a fellowship at Cambridge and three years later wrote his first book, A Discourse Concerning the True Notion of the Lord's Supper, and the tract called The Union of Christ and the Church. In 1645 he was named master of Clare Hall, Cambridge, where he was elected unanimously as regius professor of Hebrew. His increasing opposition to Puritanism in government was expressed in his widely reprinted sermon to the House of Commons in March 1647. He left Cambridge in 1650 to serve as rector at North Cadbury, Somerset, but returned in 1654 as head of Christ's College, a position he held until his death.Cudworth's first major work, The True Intellectual System of the Universe: The First Part: Wherein All the Reason and Philosophy of Atheism Is Confuted and its Impossibility Demonstrated (1678), aroused considerable theological opposition. John Dryden characterized its impact in his comment that Cudworth “has raised such strong objections against the being of a God and Providence that many think he has not answered them,” though such answers were indeed Cudworth's goal.Only manuscript fragments remain of the unpublished second and third parts of the work, “Of Moral Good and Evil” and “Of Liberty and Necessity.” Two short published works, A Treatise Concerning Eternal and Immutable Morality (1731) and A Treatise of Freewill (1838), are evidently summaries of the second and third parts.In ethics, Cudworth's outstanding work is A Treatise Concerning Eternal and Immutable Morality, directed against Puritan Calvinism, against the divine omnipotence discussed by René Descartes, and against the Hobbesian reduction of morality to civil obedience. Cudworth stressed the natural good or evil inherent in an event or an act in contrast to the Calvinist-Cartesian notion of divine law or to Hobbes's concept of a secular sovereign. “Things are what they are,” he wrote, “not by Will but by Nature.” This premise led Cudworth to develop an ethical system emphasizing the rational, spontaneous, disinterested, and public-spirited character of the good life.Cudworth's daughter, Damaris, Lady Masham, published her own Discourse Concerning the Love of God (1696) and did much to spread her father's moral and religious ideas.Additional ReadingCudworth's life and thought have been studied by John Passmore, Ralph Cudworth (1951, reprinted 1990).
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CUDWORTH, RALPH° — (1617–1688), English Platonist. Cudworth was professor of Hebrew at Cambridge from 1645. His commentary on Daniel survives in manuscript form (British Museum, Ms. Add. 4986–87), and he is known to have been interested in the translation of the… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Cudworth, Ralph — (1617–1688) The foremost Cambridge Platonist, whose major works were The True Intellectual System of the Universe (1678), and A Treatise Concerning Eternal and Immutable Morality (published posthumously, 1731). The former, although massive, is… … Philosophy dictionary
Cudworth, Ralph — See Herbert of Cherbury (Lord) and the Cambridge Platonists … History of philosophy
Cudworth, Ralph — ► (1617 88) Filósofo inglés. Es célebre por su Sistema intelectual del Universo, refutación de Hobbes. * * * (1617, Aler, Somerset, Inglaterra–26 jun. 1688, Cambridge). Teólogo y filósofo inglés. Educado como puritano que más tarde adoptó… … Enciclopedia Universal
CUDWORTH, RALPH — an eminent English divine and philosopher, born in Somerset; his chief work, a vast and discursive one, and to which he owes his fame, The True Intellectual System of the Universe, in which he teaches a philosophy of the Platonic type, which… … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
Cudworth, Ralph — (1617 1688) Divine and philosopher, b. at Aller, Somerset, and ed. at Camb., where, after being a tutor, he became Master of Clare Hall 1645, Prof. of Hebrew (1645 88), and Master of Christ s Coll., 1654. His great work is The True… … Short biographical dictionary of English literature
Cudworth — Cudworth, Ralph … Philosophy dictionary
Cudworth — Cudworth, Ralph … Enciclopedia Universal
Ralph Cudworth — (1617 – 26 June 1688) was an English philosopher, the leader of the Cambridge Platonists. Contents 1 Life … Wikipedia
Cudworth, Saskatchewan — Cudworth Cudworth Heritage Museum Former CN station Nickname(s): The Hub of the Cities … Wikipedia