Ralph Cudworth, 1617 - 1688

Ralph Cudworth was an English religious philosopher, metaphysician, and scholar; he is considered the leading seventeenth-century Cambridge Platonist.  His two major works, The True Intellectual System of the Universe (1678) and A Treatise Concerning Eternal and Immutable Morality (1731), were influential among the New England Transcendentalists and provided crucial support for Ralph Waldo Emerson's belief in the infallibility of intuition.  Cudworth's writings, commended by Clarence Gohdes as the "background of New England thought," refute Hobbesian materialism, embrace the new science of the 1600s, and emphasize the dynamic workings of the human mind.