Cudworth, Ralph


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Cudworth, Ralph,

1617–88, English theologian and philosopher. He was a noted representative of the Cambridge PlatonistsCambridge Platonists,
group of English philosophers, centered at Cambridge in the latter half of the 17th cent. In reaction to the mechanical philosophy of Thomas Hobbes this school revived certain Platonic and Neoplatonic ideas.
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. Cudworth's most ambitious work, The True Intellectual System of the Universe, was never completed. The first part, a critique of atheistic materialism, appeared in 1678, and two parts were published posthumously as A Treatise concerning Eternal and Immutable Morality (1731) and A Treatise on Freewill (1838). In his works Cudworth attacked the materialistic philosophy of Hobbes and maintained the belief that moral ideas are innate in man.

Bibliography

See study by J. A. Passmore (1951).