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Ralph Cudworth

Cudworth, Ralph, 1617–88, English theologian and philosopher. He was a noted representative of the Cambridge Platonists. 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.

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

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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