- Category : Humanities+Social-Sciences-Philosopher
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Laws 3
English poet and philosopher of religion who was perhaps the best known of the group of thinkers known as the Cambridge Platonists.
Though reared a Calvinist, More became an Anglican as a youth. At Christ’s College, Cambridge, he encountered such Platonists as Edward Fowler and John Worthington. In 1639 he was elected to a fellowship at Cambridge.
More gradually abandoned his admiration for the thought of the French philosopher René Descartes, which separated mind and matter, and he came to hold that Cartesian philosophy must inevitably lead to some form of mechanical naturalism and to atheism. In their correspondence of 1648–49, published as The Immortality of the Soule (1659), and in his major metaphysical work, Enchiridion Metaphysicum (1671), More argued against Descartes’s indentification of matter with extension. More’s early poetry was written in a style akin to that of Edmund Spenser and treated metaphysical subjects. His religious views, most fully expressed in An Explanation of the Grand Mystery of Godliness (1660) and Divine Dialogues (1668), centred on his idea of reconciling Christian Platonism with 17th-century science. His ethical writings include Enchiridion Ethicum(1667); his work An Antidote against Atheism (1652) is curiously devoted, in large part, to witch and ghost stories. His poetry is published in Alexander Balloch Grosart’s Complete Poems of Henry More (1878). Excerpts from his philosophical writings appear in Flora Isabel MacKinnon’s Philosophical Writings of Henry More (1925).
He died 1 September 1687.