Henry More // ; 12 October 1614 – 1 September 1687) was an English philosopher of the Cambridge Platonist school.(
Henry was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire on 12 October 1614.He was the seventh son of Alexander More, mayor of Grantham, and Anne More (née Lacy). Both his parents were Calvinists but he himself "could never swallow that hard doctrine."
He was schooled at The King's School, Grantham and at Eton College. In 1631 he entered Christ's College, Cambridge, at about the time John Milton was leaving it. He took his BA in 1635, his MA in 1639, and immediately afterwards became a fellow of his college, turning down all other positions that were offered.He would not accept the mastership of his college, to which, it is understood, he would have been preferred in 1654, when Ralph Cudworth was appointed. In 1675, he finally accepted a prebend in Gloucester Cathedral, but only to resign it in favour of his friend Edward Fowler, afterwards bishop of Gloucester.
More taught many notable pupils, including Anne Finch, sister of Heneage Finch, subsequently Earl of Nottingham. She later became Lady Conway, and at her country seat at Ragley in Warwickshire, More would spend "a considerable part of his time." She and her husband both appreciated him, and amidst the woods of this retreat he wrote several of his books. The spiritual enthusiasm of Lady Conway was a considerable factor in some of More's speculations, even though she at length joined the Quakers. She became the friend not only of More and William Penn, but of Franciscus Mercurius van Helmont (1614–1699) and Valentine Greatrakes, mystical thaumaturgists of the 17th-century. Ragley became a centre of devotion and spiritualism.
More was a rationalist theologian. He attempted to use the details of 17th-century mechanical philosophy—as developed by René Descartes—to establish the existence of immaterial substance.
More rejected Cartesian dualism on the following grounds: "It would be easier for me to attribute matter and extension to the soul, than to attribute to an immaterial thing the capacity to move and be moved by the body.' His difficulties with Cartesian dualism arose, not from an inability to understand how material and immaterial substances could interact, but from an unwillingness to accept any unextended entity as any kind of real entity. More continues "...it is plain that if a thing be at all it must be extended." So for More 'spirit' too must be extended. This led him to the idea of a 'fourth dimension' (a term which he coined) in which the spirit is extended (to which he gave the curious name of "essential spissitude")and to an original solution to the mind-body problem.
More appears to be the origin of the still-popular slur against medieval Scholasticism that it engaged in useless speculative debates, such as how many angels might dance on the head of a pin (or "on a needles [sic] point," as he puts it), in the second chapter of The Immortality of the Soul.
A quotation from More is used as the epigraph of Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "The Over-soul."
Helena Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, quoted More and gave an exposition of his ideas in chapter VII of "Isis Unveiled".
More was a prolific writer of verse and prose. The Divine Dialogues (1688) condenses his general view of philosophy and religion. Like many others, he began as a poet and ended as a prose writer. His first work, published in 1642, but written two years earlier, was Psychodoia Platonica: or, a Platonicall Song of the Soul, consisting of four several Poems. It was followed in 1647 by his full collection of Philosophical Poems, which includes The Song of the Soul, enlarged and is dedicated to his father. A second edition was published in the same year, and it was included by A. B. Grosart in his Chertsey Worthies Library (1878).
More's prose works are:
More is also believed to have written Philosophiae Teutonicae Censura, 1670, a criticism of the theosophy of Jacob Boehme; and to have edited Joseph Glanvill's Saducismus Triumphatus , 1681. He certainly contributed largely to the volume, and also wrote many of the annotations to Glanvill's Lux Orientalis, 1682. More agreed with Glanvill on belief in witchcraft and apparitions. Several letters from More to John Worthington are printed in Worthington's Diary, and some Letters Philosophical and Moral between John Norris and Henry More are added to Norris's Theory and Regulation of Love, 1688. A Collection of several Philosophical Writings of Dr. Henry More was first published in 1662 and includes his Antidote against Atheism, with the Appendix, Enthusiasmus Triumphatus, Letters to Des Cartes, &c., Immortality of the Soul, and Conjectura Cabbalistica. A fourth edition, corrected and much enlarged, was published in 1712, with notes.'
More issued complete editions of his works, his Opera theologica in 1675, and his Opera philosophica in 1678. Between 1672 and 1675 he was principally engaged in translating his English works into Latin. In 1675 appeared Henrici Mori Cantabrigiensis Opera Theologica, Anglice quidem primitius scripta, mine vero per autorem Latine reddita. Hisce novus praefixus est De Synchronismis Apocalypticis Tractatulus. It was followed in 1679 by a larger work in two volumes, Henrici Mori Cantabrigiensis Opera Omnia, tum quae Latine tum quae Anglice scripta sunt; nunc vero Latinitate donata instigatu et impensis generosissimi juvenis Johannis Cockshutt nobilis Angli. John Cockshutt of the Inner Temple had left a legacy of £300 to More to have three of his principal pieces translated into Latin; and More complied with the terms of the legacy by translating into Latin many more of his English works. In 1692 were published Discourses on Several Texts of Scripture, with a preface signed "John Worthington"; and in 1694 Letters on Several Subjects, published by Edmund Elys. Abridgments of and extracts from the works of More were numerous; and in 1708 a volume was published for charitable libraries, The Theological Works of the most Pious and Learned Henry More. The work is in English, but "according to the author's Improvements in his Latin edition".
The main authorities for More's life are Richard Ward's Life (1710); the prefatio generalissima prefixed to his Opera omnia (1679); and also an account of his writings in an Apology published in 1664. His Philosophical Poems appeared (1647), with his Echief speculations and experiences". Analysis of his life and works is given in John Tulloch's Rational Theology, vol. ii. (1874); see also Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann, Henry More und die vierte Dimension des Raums (Vienna, 1881); Henry More: Tercentenary Studies, ed. by Sarah Hutton (Dordrecht, 1990).
Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia and lived in Rome until his banishment, when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece for the rest of his life. His teachings were written down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses and Enchiridion.
René Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist who invented analytic geometry, linking the previously separate fields of geometry and algebra. He spent a large portion of his working life in the Dutch Republic, initially serving the Dutch States Army of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange and the Stadtholder of the United Provinces. One of the most notable intellectual figures of the Dutch Golden Age, Descartes is also widely regarded as one of the founders of modern philosophy and algebraic geometry.
John Wilkins, was an Anglican clergyman, natural philosopher and author, and was one of the founders of the Royal Society. He was Bishop of Chester from 1668 until his death.
Nicolas Malebranche, was a French Oratorian priest and rationalist philosopher. In his works, he sought to synthesize the thought of St. Augustine and Descartes, in order to demonstrate the active role of God in every aspect of the world. Malebranche is best known for his doctrines of vision in God, occasionalism and ontologism.
Joseph Glanvill was an English writer, philosopher, and clergyman. Not himself a scientist, he has been called "the most skillful apologist of the virtuosi", or in other words the leading propagandist for the approach of the English natural philosophers of the later 17th century. In 1661 he predicted "To converse at the distance of the Indes by means of sympathetic conveyances may be as natural to future times as to us is a literary correspondence."
Saducismus triumphatus is a book on witchcraft by Joseph Glanvill, published posthumously in England in 1681.
Anthony Collins was an English philosopher, and a proponent of deism.
The Cambridge Platonists were an influential group of Platonist philosophers and Christian theologians at the University of Cambridge that existed during the 17th century. The leading figures were Ralph Cudworth, Nathaniel Culverwell, Benjamin Whichcote, and Henry More.
Edward Stillingfleet was a British Christian theologian and scholar. Considered an outstanding preacher as well as a strong polemical writer defending Anglicanism, Stillingfleet was known as "the beauty of holiness" for his good looks in the pulpit, and was called by John Hough "the ablest man of his time".
John Norris, sometimes called John Norris of Bemerton (1657–1712), was an English theologian, philosopher and poet associated with the Cambridge Platonists.
Anne Conway was an English philosopher whose work, in the tradition of the Cambridge Platonists, was an influence on Gottfried Leibniz. Conway's thought is a deeply original form of rationalist philosophy, with hallmarks of gynocentric concerns and patterns that lead some to think of it as unique among seventeenth-century systems.
In philosophy, theophysics is an approach to cosmology that attempts to reconcile physical cosmology and religious cosmology. It is related to physicotheology, the difference between them being that the aim of physicotheology is to derive theology from physics, whereas that of theophysics is to unify physics and theology.
Incorporeality is "the state or quality of being incorporeal or bodiless; immateriality; incorporealism." Incorporeal means "Not composed of matter; having no material existence."
John Worthington (1618–1671) was an English academic. He was closely associated with the Cambridge Platonists. He did not in fact publish in the field of philosophy, and is now known mainly as a well-connected diarist.
Richard Burthogge (1637/38–1705) of Devon, England, was a physician, magistrate and philosopher.
Neoplatonism is a strand of Platonic philosophy that emerged in the 3rd century AD against the background of Hellenistic philosophy and religion. The term does not encapsulate a set of ideas as much as it encapsulates a chain of thinkers which began with Ammonius Saccas and his student Plotinus, which stretches to the 6th century AD. Even though neoplatonism primarily circumscribes the thinkers who are now labeled neoplatonists and not their ideas, there are some ideas that are common to neoplatonic systems; for example, the monistic idea that all of reality can be derived from a single principle, "the One".
Illuminationism, also known as Ishrāqiyyun or simply Ishrāqi is a philosophical and mystical school of thought introduced by Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi in the twelfth century, established with his Kitab Hikmat al-Ishraq, a fundamental text finished in 1186. Written with influence from Avicennism, Peripateticism, and Neoplatonism, the philosophy is nevertheless distinct as a novel and holistic addition to the history of Islamic philosophy.
Medieval philosophy is the philosophy that existed through the Middle Ages, the period roughly extending from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century to the Renaissance in the 15th century. Medieval philosophy, understood as a project of independent philosophical inquiry, began in Baghdad, in the middle of the 8th century, and in France, in the itinerant court of Charlemagne, in the last quarter of the 8th century. It is defined partly by the process of rediscovering the ancient culture developed in Greece and Rome during the Classical period, and partly by the need to address theological problems and to integrate sacred doctrine with secular learning.
Gabriel Wagner was a radical German philosopher and materialist who wrote under the nom-de-plume Realis de Vienna. A follower of Spinoza and acquaintance of Leibniz, Wagner did not believe that the universe or bible were divine creations, and sought to extricate philosophy and science from the influence of theology. Wagner also held radical political views critical of the nobility and monarchy. After failing to establish lasting careers in cities throughout German-speaking Europe, Wagner died in or shortly after 1717.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Henry More|