Plastic Intellectual Breeze

The Contribution of Ralph Cudworth to S. T. Coleridge’s Early Poetics of the Symbol

by Cristina Flores Moreno (Author)
©2008 Thesis 452 Pages


This work offers a new perspective on the study of the sources of S. T. Coleridge’s poetics. The author argues that the philosophical system endorsed by the Cambridge Platonist Ralph Cudworth significantly contributed to the genesis of Coleridge’s concept of the symbol and its related symbolic knowledge.
After an initial view on the different articulations the symbol acquired in Coleridge’s theorizations over his career, the book reverts to the poet’s formative years from 1795 to 1798, in order to reveal the roots of the concept.
Apart from discussing Coleridge’s direct readings of Cudworth’s The True Intellectual System of the Universe in the years 1795 and 1796, the author explores the reception of Cudworth’s ideas in a number of philosophers’, scientists’, poets’ and literary theorists’ works of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries which were, in turn, read by the Romantic author. The study also provides new insights into Coleridge’s lectures and poems in which the Coleridgean notion of symbol was born: Lectures on Revealed Religion, «The Destiny of Nations», «Religious Musings» and the Conversation Poems in the light of Cudworth’s philosophical tenets.


ISBN (Softcover)
Cudworth, Ralph Rezeption Coleridge, Samuel Taylor Symbol Literary Theory Poetic Philosophy Aesthetic 18th Century English Literature 17th Century English Literature
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2008. 452 pp.

Biographical notes

Cristina Flores Moreno (Author)

The Author: Cristina Flores (1975) is a lecturer of English Literature and Language at the Department of Modern Philology (English Studies) at the University of La Rioja (Spain), from where she obtained her Ph.D. with honours in English Literature in 2006. Her main research interests include Romantic literary theory and poetry, as well as the connections between Romanticism and twentieth century literature. She is currently working on the reception of British Romantic authors in Spanish literature.


Title: Plastic Intellectual Breeze