…directly from Descartes’s writings is The Search After Truth (1674–75), by Malebranche.
Malebranche speaks rather baldly here.
Addressing Malebranche directly, Arnauld writes:
Malebranche follows La Forge in this identification.
Indeed, Malebranche holds that in God we see an infinity of possible worlds:
In contrast to Descartes, Malebranche was against the doctrine of the creation of eternal truths.
On the European continent, the most artful presentation of the CCC argument is found in Malebranche.
Cartesian dualism between body and mind was also rendered compatible with orthodox Roman Catholicism by Malebranche.
The most important philosophical work stemming directly from Descartes’s writings is The Search After Truth (1674–75), by Malebranche.
According to Malebranche, this is due to the fact that God could always will some event contrary to what the creature allegedly brings about.
Malebranche held that our attribution of causal powers to bodies manifests in particular an attachment to the body that is an effect of original sin.
In his response, Malebranche defended the claim, present from the first edition of the Recherche, that our free action involves a “consent” that God does not determine.
Desgabets’s last published work, Critique de la critique de la Recherche de la vérité (1675), was intended as a defence of Malebranche against the sceptic Simon Foucher.
In that earlier text, Malebranche presented a defense of the Christian religion that emphasizes the Augustinian theme of our dependence on God for knowledge and happiness.
That having been said, Malebranche often writes as if the lineage was direct and tends to minimize his philosophical differences with Augustine over the nature of cognition:
But in addition to Malebranche, there were a number of other Cartesians, prior to Malebranche, that presented a variety of views indicative of the occasionalist current in the 1660s.
The philosophy of Malebranche is sometimes portrayed as a synthesis of Descartes and Augustine, but a more precise way to put this relation is that Malebranche used Augustine to rectify shortcomings he perceived in the philosophy of Descartes.
Régis had defended an account of ideas similar to the one that Arnauld had defended against Malebranche during the 1680s, and Arnauld used the Régis-Malebranche exchange as an occasion to return to the issue of ideas during the last year of his life.
In correspondence with Malebranche, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) emphasized difficulties with Descartes’s conservation law, and that correspondence led Malebranche to insert into a 1700 edition of the Lois the admission that experience reveals that such a law does not hold.
- French philosopher (1638-1715)
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