Ralph Cudworth

Cudworth creative commons



Primary Sources:



Cambridge: Christ’s College MS B.1.10, 11 (Christ’s College Account Book), C.6.13.1 (Christ’s College Order Book).

London: British Library MS Additional 4978-4987 (Works attributed to Dr Ralph Cudworth).

Oxford: Bodleian Library (Bod) MS D’Orvile 471 (letter to Issac Vossius).

MS Rawlinson  A28, A.38, A.43, A.58, A.63, C.982 (letters to John Thurloe).

MS Rawlinson, B.375 (subscription to the Act of Uniformity).

MS Selden Supra, 108, 109 (letters to John Selden).

MS Tanner, 39, 44, 46, 49, 58, 92, 290 (correspondence)

MS Western, 52546 (letter to John Selden).

Printed Sources


‘Additional Manuscript no.4981’ (On the Nature of Liberum Arbitrium) introduced by J.L. Breteau, in The Cambridge Platonists in Philosophical Context, edited by G.A.J. Rogers et al. Dordrect: Kluwer, 1997.

A Discourse concerning the true notion of the Lord’s supper, London: 1670.

‘A Sermon Preached before the House of Commons. March 31st 1647’ in The Cambridge Platonists, edited by C.A. Patrides. London: Edward Arnold, 1969.

A Sermon Preached to the Honourable Society of Lincolnes-Inne. London: 1664.

A Treatise Concerning Eternal and Immutable Reality, edited by Edward Chandler. London: 1731.

A Treatise Concerning Eternal and Immutable Reality, edited by Sarah Hutton. Cambridge: CUP, 1996.

A Treatise on Freewill, edited by John Allen. London: 1838.

‘A Treatise on Freewill’ in A Treatise Concerning Eternal and Immutable Reality, edited by Sarah Hutton. Cambridge: CUP, 1996.

‘Two undated letter to John Stoughton’ in Thomas Solly, The Will Human and Divine. London: 1856.

‘Preface’ to ‘A Sermon Preached before the Honourable The House of Commons, On March 31st, 1647,’ in Charles Taliferro and Alison J. Teply eds, Cambridge Platonists Spirituality. MahwahNJ: Paulist Press, 2004.

Systema intellectuale huius universi, translated by Johann Lorenz Mosheim. Jena: 1733.

The True Intellectual System of the Universe: The First Part; Wherein, All the Reason and Philosophy of Atheism is Confuted; and Its Impossibility Demonstrated, London:1678.

The True Intellectual System of the Universe, 3 vols, edited by John Harrison. London: Thomas Tegg, 1845.

The Union of Christ and the Church in a shadow. London:1642.


Secondary Sources

Anon., ‘Memoirs of Ralph Cudworth D.D.,’ Author of The Intellectual System,’ The Present state of the Republic of Letters, XVII, January (1736): 24-38.

Armour, Leslie, ‘Trinity, Community, and Love’ in Platonism and the Origins of Modernity, edited by Sarah Hutton and Douglas Hedley. Dordrecht: Springer, 2008.

Armstrong, Robert L., ‘The Cambridge Platonists and Locke on Innate Ideas,’ in Journal of the History of Ideas, 30 (1969): 187-202.

Baldi, M, ‘Cudworth versus Descartes: Platonism et sens commun dans la critique de Meditations,’ in The Cambridge Platonists in Philosophical Context edited by G.A.J. Rogers et al. Dordrecht: Kluwer 1997.

Birch, Thomas, ‘An Account of the Life and Writings of R. Cudworth D.D.,’ in Ralph Cudworth, The True Intellectual System of the Universe. London: Richard Priestly, 1820.

Breteau, J-L, ‘Chaos and Order in Cudworth’s Thought’ in Platonism and the Origins of Modernity, edited by Sarah Hutton and Douglas Hedley. Dordrecht: Springer. 2007.

Broad, Jacqueline, ‘A Woman’s Influence? John Locke and Damaris Masham on Moral Accountability,’ in The Journal of the History of Ideas 67 (2006): 489-510.

———. Women Philosophers in the Seventeenth Century. Cambridge: CUP, 2002.

Carter, Benjamin, ‘Ralph Cudworth and the theological origins of Consciousness’ in The History of the Human Sciences, 23 (2010): 29-47

———. ‘Ralph Cudworth’ in The History of Western Philosophy of Religion: Volume 3 – Early Modern Philosophy of Religion, edited by Graham Oppy and Nick Trakakis (Durham: Acumen, 2009)

———. ‘The Little Commonwealth of Man’: The Trinitarian Origins of the Ethical and Political Philosophy of Ralph Cudworth (Leuven: Peeters, 2011)

———. ‘The Standing of Ralph Cudworth As a Philosopher’ in Insiders and Outsiders in Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, edited by G.A.J. Rogers, Tom Sorell, and Jill Kraye (London: Routledge, 2010)

Colie, Rosalie L., Light and Enlightenment : A Study of the Cambridge Platonists and the Dutch Arminians. Cambridge: CUP, 1957.

Darwall, Stephen, The British Moralists and the Internal ‘Ought’: 1640-1740, Cambridge: CUP, 1995: See: Chapter 5, ‘Cudworth: obligation and self-determining moral agency.

Dockrill, D.W., ‘The Fathers and the Theology of the Cambridge Platonists,’ in Studia Patristica, 17 (1982): 427-39.

———. ‘The Heritage of Patristic Platonism in Seventeenth-Century English Philosophical Theology,’ in The Cambridge Platonists in Philosophical Context, edited by G.A.J. Rogers et al. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1997.

Gill, Michael B., ‘Rationalism, sentimentalism, and Ralph Cudworth,’ in Hume Studies 30 (2004): 149-182.

Gysi, Lydia, Platonism and Cartesianism in the Philosophy of Ralph Cudworth. Bern: Herbert Lang, 1962.

Hall, Roland, ‘New Words and Antedatings from Cudworth’s “Treatise on Freewill,”’ in Notes and Queries, 205, (1960): 427-32.

———. ‘Cudworth: More New Words,’ in Notes and Queries, 208, (1963): 313-14.

———. ‘Cudworth and his Contemporaries: New words and antedatings,’ in Notes and Queries, 220, (1975): 313-14.

Hedley, Douglas, ‘The Platonick Trinity: Philology and Divinity in Cudworth’s Philosophy of Religion,’ in Philogie und Erkenntis, Beitrage zu Begriff und Problem frühneauzeitlicher ‘Philologie, edited by Ralph Häfner. Tübingen: Max Neimeyer Veralg, 2001.

Hutton, Sarah, ‘Classicism and Baroque: A Note on Mosheim’s footnotes to Cudworth’s The True Intellectual System of the Universe,’ in Johann Lorenz Mosheim: Theologie in sannhugsfeld von Philosophie, Philologie und Geschicte, 1693-1755, edited by Martin Mulsow. Weisbaden: Harrasovitz, 1997.

———. ‘Cudworth, Boethius and the Scale of Nature,’ in The Cambridge Platonists in Philosophical Context: Politics, Metaphysics & Religion, ed. G.A.J. Rogers, et al. Dordrecht: Kluwer: 1997.

———. ‘Damaris Cudworth, Lady Masham: Between Platonism and Enlightenment’ in The British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 1 (1993): 29-54.

———. ‘Liberty and Self-determination: Ethics Power and Action in Ralph Cudworth,’ in Del necessario al possible. Determinismo e Liberta nel penserio Anglo-Olandese de XVII seculo, edited by L.Simonutti. Angeli: 2001.

———. ‘Ralph Cudworth: God, Mind, and Nature,’ in Religion, Reason and Nature in Early Modern Europe, edited by Robert Crocker. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2001.

———. ‘The Neoplatonic Roots of Arianism: Ralph Cudworth and Theophilus Gale,’ in Socinianism and its Role in the Culture of XVI-th to XVIII-th Centuries edited by L. Szczucki and Z. Ogonowski. Warsaw: PWN – Polish Scientific Publisher, 1983.

Kenny, Courtney, ‘Cudworth’s Manuscripts on Future Punishment,’ in The Theological Review, 61 (1878): 267-280

Lacugna, Catherine Mowry, God for Us: The Trinity and the Christian Life. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1993.

Lovejoy, Arthur O., ‘Kant and the English Platonists,’ in Essays Philosophical and Psychological: In honor of William James by his colleagues at Columbia University. New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1908.

Passmore, John, Ralph Cudworth: An Interpretation. Cambridge. CUP, 1951.

Patrides, C.A. ed., The Cambridge Platonists. London: Edward Arnold, 1967.

Sailor, Danton B., ‘Cudworth and Descartes,’ in The Journal of the History of Ideas, 23 (1962): 133-140.

Saveson, J.E., ‘Differing Reactions to Descartes among the Cambridge Platonists,’ in The Journal of the History of Ideas, 21 (1960): 560-567.

Scott, Dominic, ‘Reason, Recollection and the Cambridge Platonists,’ in Platonism and the English Imagination, edited by Anna Baldwin and Sarah Hutton. Cambridge: CUP, 1994.

Scott, Dominic, Recollection and Experience: Plato’s Theory of Learning and its Successors. Cambridge: CUP, 1995. See Chapter 9: ‘The inner core and mortar of our thoughts.’

Sellars, John, ‘Is God a Mindless Vegetable? Cudworth on Stoic Theology’, Intellectual History Review 21 (2011): 121-33.

Sellars, John, ‘Stoics Against Stoics in Cudworth’s A Treatise of Freewill’, British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (2012): 935-52.

Simmonutti, Luisa ‘Bayle and Le Clerc as readers of Cudworth: aspects of the debate on Plastic Nature in the Dutch learned journals’ in Geschiedenis van de Wijsbegeerte in Nederland, 4 (1993): 147-165.

Taliaferro, Charles, Evidence and Faith: Philosophy and Religion since the Seventeenth-Century. Cambridge: CUP, 2005. See: Chapter 1, ‘The Sovereignty of the Good in Seventeenth-Century Philosophy of Religion.’

———. ‘The Trinity and Natural Reason: Lessons from Cambridge Platonism,’ in The Holy Trinity, edited by Melville Y. Stewart. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2003.

Thiel, Udo, ‘Cudworth and Seventeenth-Century Theories of Consciousness’ in The Uses of Antiquity: The Scientific Revolution and the Classical Tradition, edited by Stephen Gaukroger. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1991.

———. ‘Self-Consciousness and Personal Identity’ in The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Philosophy, edited by Knud Haakonssen. Cambridge: CUP, 2007.

———. ‘The Trinity and Human Personal Identity’ in English Philosophy in the Age of Locke, edited by M.A. Stewart. Oxford: OUP, 2000.

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