Zarys filozoficznej doktryny Henry'ego More'a
The Sketch of the Philosophical Doctrine of Henry More
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This paper constitutes an endeavor to present the thought of dr Henry More, a seventeenth century English philosopher and theologian, who is regarded as one of the so-called Cambridge Platonists. Historians usually consider thinkers such as Descartes, Hobbes and Spinoza as their adversaries, but it is only partially true in relation to Henry More because in his early years he was a follower of Descartes. More perceived him as a committed defender of faith and spirituality; eventually Descartes argued in favor of God’s existence and defended the immortality of the soul as well. However, a few years after Descartes’ death, More realised that the main framework of his philosophy (in particular his doctrine of the soul as a thinking thing and his explanation of natural motions in mechanical terms) was overwhelmed with errors and inaccuracies, which led to materialism, ontic accidentalism and moral relativism, and thus made a loophole to atheism and nihilism. This article illustrates both episodes in More’s life, but it also focuses on the variety of his representative conceptions. These include: his strongly non-orthodox belief in reincarnation and universal salvation influenced by the work of Plotinus and Origen; a conception of The Spirit of Nature (similar to the Platonic conception of World Soul); evidence of the existence of God; a conception of infinite space, which might have been an influence on Isaac Newton. Finally, the article deals with relations between More and his students (especially Anne Conway) and Christian Kabbalists. By describing all these aspects of More’s philosophical journey, the author of this work wishes to show his thought as an original and eclectic marriage of influences, which can be an interesting study in itself, but the author’s aim is also to draw the reader’s attention to several problems which make the designation of More as a “Platonist sensu stricto” very controversial.
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