The Cambridge Platonists in Philosophical Context

Politics, Metaphysics and Religion

  • G. A. J. Rogers
  • J. M. Vienne
  • Y. C. Zarka

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Part One

  3. Part Two

  4. Part Three

  5. Part Four

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 215-258

About this book


The Cambridge Platonists were defenders of tolerance in the political as well as the moral sphere ; they held that practical j u d g e m e n t came down in the last instance to individual conscience ; and they laid the foundations of our modern conceptions of conscience and liberty. But at the same time they ma intained the existence of eternal truths , and of a Good-in-itself , identical with Truth and Being, refusing to admit that freedom of conscience i m p li e d moral relativism. They were critics of dogmatism, and of the sectarian notion of "enthusiasm" as a source of illumination , on the grounds that both were disruptive of social harmony; they pleaded the cause of reason , in the hope that it could become the foundation of all human knowledge . Yet , for all that , they ma intained that a certain sort of mystical illumination lay at the heart of all true thought , and that human reason had validity only in virtue of i t s divine origin . They debated with Des cartes and took a keen interest in his mech- ism and his dualism ; they brought the atomistic theories of Democritus back into repute; and they sought to provide a detailed account of the causality link ing all phenomena.


Hobbes Moral Plato Religion René Descartes Thomas Hobbes politics

Editors and affiliations

  • G. A. J. Rogers
    • 1
  • J. M. Vienne
    • 2
  • Y. C. Zarka
    • 3
  1. 1.University of KeeleKeeleUK
  2. 2.Université de NantesFrance
  3. 3.CNRS ParisFrance

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1997
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-4844-8
  • Online ISBN 978-94-015-8933-8
  • Series Print ISSN 0066-6610
  • Buy this book on publisher's site