Philosophy: Descartes and Plato

  • John Hoyles
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas/ Archives internationales d’histoire des ideés book series (ARCH, volume 39)


Henry More contributed a great deal to the formation of the philosophy of the Enlightenment. He worked hard to sift the old verities; but he spoke so often in the name of Plato, and so often in the name of Descartes, that his voice was blurred in the years when it most needed to be heard. The Enlightenment, through the Royal Society, grew out of Descartes, and through the latitudinarian spirit, out of Plato. Once this had happened, More’s attempts to submit his fourth ground of certainty to the criteria of experimental science led naturally to the absurdities of contradiction between Descartes and Plato, and to grotesque confusion between mind and matter.1 Such a gothic conclusion to the career of a founder of the modem mind can only be explained by looking carefully at the origins of More’s philosophy.2


Philosophical Writing Cartesian Dualism Strange Story Plastic Nature Orthodox Theist 
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© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1971

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  • John Hoyles

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