Cambridge Platonist Sources of German Idealism

Dr Adrian Mihai (Cambridge)

In this research I will look at the transmission and reception
by Kant and Schelling of some philosophical tenets expounded by Henry
More and Ralph Cudworth, central figures of the so-called Cambridge
Platonists. This transmission and reception is very problematic. In the
first part, I will look at the historical transmission: Kant, for
example, never quotes of refers to the two English idealists. This said,
we know that Kant had Cudworth’s ‘True Intellectual System’ in his
library (in Mosheim’s 1733 Latin translation). As for Schelling, he quotes
and uses Cudworth extensively. In the second part, I will examine
at the conceptual affinities—and lacunae—between the system of
the Cambridge Platonists and that of Kant and Schelling. Only by first
identifying a number of important philosophical concepts in the
Cambridge Platonists, and aligning them to their German idealist
counterparts, can the ways in which they resemble each
other be determined.

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