Cambridge University, the ‘Latitude-Men’, and the Early Enlightenment: Platonism and its Influence (1640-1760)
16 Jun 2018, 14:00 to 16 Jun 2018, 16:00
IHR Seminar Room N304, Third Floor, IHR, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Mark Burden, University of Bristol
David Leech, University of Bristol
Marilyn Lewis , University of Bristol
This three-year postdoctoral project, funded by the AHRC, aims to examine the philosophical, historical, and educational influence of a small group of Christian Platonist philosophers at Cambridge University, including Ralph Cudworth, Henry More, John Smith, and Benjamin Whichcote. Known as the Cambridge Platonists, they were instrumental in the dissemination and development of Platonist thought in England in the seventeenth and early eighteenth century. Their ideas on religious toleration helped to shape the discourse of freedom across early-modern Europe; their scientific ideas, including powerful critiques of Descartes and Boyle, were well known to the most influential thinkers of the next generation, including Locke, Newton, and Leibniz. This presentation will provide an introduction to the key political, educational, and philosophical ideas of the Cambridge Platonists, and reflect upon the project’s recent archival discoveries.
020 7862 8740