Herbert, Edward

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Herbert, Edward


(First Baron Herbert of Cherbury). Born Mar. 3,1583, in Eyton-on-Severn, Wales; died Aug. 20,1648, in London. English philosopher, poet, and political figure.

Herbert served as British ambassador to France between 1619 and 1624. During the Civil War he was an adherent of the parliamentary opposition. Herbert was the founder of English deism in the form of natural religion, the source of which he considered to lie not in discovery, but in the innate principle of reason. Herbert summed up the basic principles of natural religion in the following five points: there is a god; he must be worshipped; the best way to worship is through virtue and piety; crimes and transgressions must be atoned for through repentance; there are rewards and punishments in a life beyond the grave. Herbert’s moderate deism met with a sharp reaction from theologians. Herbert’s doctrine of cognition is based on his acknowledgement of innate ideas. Herbert’s views were criticized by J. Locke and P. Gassendi.


Tractatus de veritate. [Paris] 1624.
De causis errorum, parts 1–3. London, 1645.
De religionegentilium. Amsterdam, 1663.
The Life of Edward Herbert of Cherbury, Written by Himself. Strawberry Hill, 1764.
A Dialogue Between a Tutor and His Pupil. London, 1768.


Meerovskii, B. V. “U istokov angliiskogo cleizma.” In the collection Voprosy nauchnogo ateizma, fasc. 12. Moscow, 1971.
Rémusat, C. de. Lord H. de Cherbury, sa vie et ses oeuvres. Paris, 1874.
Güttler, C. E. Lord H. von Cherbury. Munich, 1897.
Scholz, H. Die Religions-philosophie des H. von Cherbury. Giessen, 1914.
Rossi, M. M. La vita, le opere, i tempi di Edoardo Herbert di Cherbury, vols. 1–3. Florence, 1947.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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John was preceded in death by his six brothers, Herbert, Edward, Kenneth, Donald, Robert and Virgil; five sisters, Verdonna, Mary-Jane, Halloween, Beatrice and Frances; grandson Philip Brian; and son-in-law Gary.
Herbert, Edward. The Autobiography of Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1764).