Henry More


Henry More was an English philosopher of the Cambridge Platonist school.

Henry More (1614–1687), theologian, and philosopher, is usually regarded as characteristic of a group of broadly like-minded thinkers, discerned by historians and designated by them as the Cambridge Platonists. Certainly, More’s dualistic theology of body and soul was heavily indebted to Neoplatonic thought, but the philosophical theology which he developed through the 1650s and 1660s should be recognised as almost entirely idiosyncratic, even though, in some respects it was closely paralleled in the philosophy and theology of his friend and colleague, Ralph Cudworth (1617–1688), and to a lesser extent in the works of his followers, George Rust (c.1628–1670) and Joseph Glanvill (1636–1680). More is notable as a rationalist theologian who tried to use the details of the mechanical philosophy, as developed by René Descartes, Robert Boyle and others, to establish the existence of immaterial substance, or spirit and, therefore, God. In particular he is known for developing a concept of a Spirit of Nature, an intermediary between God and the world which was supposedly required to account for those physical phenomena which could not be explained by the mechanical philosophy, and a concept of an infinite absolute space which was also made to represent immaterial reality, and even to share a number of the attributes of God.

sep-man-red Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy