The contempt of aesthetics and erudition is characteristic of the most typical members of what is known as the Cartesian school, especially Malebranche.
Every moment one expects to find Descartes saying with Hobbes that man's thought has created God, or with Spinoza and Malebranche that it is God who really thinks in the apparent thought of man.
It should be added that the modern theory of vortex-atoms (Lord Kelvin's) to explain the constitution of matter has but slight analogy with Cartesian doctrine, and finds a parellel, if anywhere, in a modification of that doctrine by Malebranche.
In such a state of despair and destitution there is no hope for spiritualism, save in God; and Clauberg, Geulincx and Malebranche all take refuge under the shadow of his wings to escape the tyranny of extended matter.
Grand seigneurs, like the prince of Conde, the duc de Nevers and the marquis de Vardes, were glad to vary the monotony of their feudal castles by listening to the eloquent rehearsals of Malebranche or Regis.
The greatest and most original of the French Cartesians was Malebranche (q.v.).
At Naples there grew up a Cartesian school, of which the best known members are Michel Angelo Fardella (1650-1708) and Cardinal Gerdil (1718-1802), both of whom, however, attached themselves to the characteristic views of Malebranche.
Rohault's version of the Cartesian physics was translated into English; and Malebranche found an ardent follower in John Norris (1667-171 I).
For an account of the metaphysical doctrines of Descartes, in their connexions with Malebranche and Spinoza, see Cartesianism.
He was thus important as the precursor of Malebranche and Spinoza.
Malebranche gave all causation to God; and the acosmist - as Hegel called him, in repudiation of Bayle's nickname " atheist " - Spinoza, from the premises of Carte.
His theory of the connexion between the soul and the body is in some respects analogous to that of Malebranche; but he is not therefore to be regarded as a true forerunner of Occasionalism,.
It was expounded by Geulincx and Malebranche to avoid the difficulty of Descartes's dualism of thought and extension, and to explain causation.
Thus mind and matter are to Geulincx only the "occasional" causes of each other's changes, while Malebranche, facing further the epistemological problem, maintains that mind cannot even know matter, which is merely the "occasion" of knowledge.
To the following year (1688) belongs his Digression sur les anciens et les modernes, in which he took the modern side in the controversy then raging; his Doutes sur le systeme physique des causes occasionnelles (against Malebranche) appeared shortly afterwards.
He corresponded, in that year, with the Comte de Montmort on the subject of Nicolas Malebranche's tenets; and unfinished treatises, " On the Jewish Sacrifices " and " On the Lawfulness of Eating Blood," written on his return from Aix-la-Chapelle in 1719, were afterwards found among his papers.
His philosophical opinions grew out of a diligent study of Descartes and Malebranche.
The most that can be said about him is that he was an intelligent student of Descartes and Malebranche, and had the ability to apply the results of his reading to the facts of his experience.
Determinism had other forms besides that of a crude materialism, and the direction that Malebranche succeeded in giving to speculation led only to the more complete denial of freedom and individuality in the all-devouring pantheism of Spinoza.
There is no sign of any intimate knowledge of ancient or scholastic thought; to the doctrines of Spinoza, Leibnitz, Malebranche, Norris, the attitude is one of indifference or lack of appreciation, but the influence of Descartes and specially of Locke is evident throughout.
NICOLAS MALEBRANCHE (1638-1715), French philosopher of the Cartesian school, the youngest child of Nicolas Malebranche, secretary to Louis XIII., and Catherine de Lauzon, sister of a viceroy of Canada, was born at Paris on the 6th of August 1638.
Malebranche was from that hour consecrated to philosophy, and after ten years' study of the works of Descartes he produced the famous De la recherche de la verite, followed at intervals by other works, both speculative and controversial.
Like most of the great metaphysicians of the 17th century, Malebranche interested himself also in questions of mathematics and natural philosophy, and in 1699 was admitted an honorary member of the Academy of Sciences.
For a critical account of Malebranche's place in the history of philosophy, see Cartesianism.
011e-Laprune, La Philosophic de Malebranche (1870); M.
Novaro, Die Philosophie des Nicolaus Malebranche (1893).
In his day Foucher enjoyed considerable repute as a keen opponent of Malebranche.
He revived the old arguments of the Academy, and advanced them with much ingenuity against Malebranche's doctrine.
His writings against Malebranche were collected under the title Dissertations sur la recherche de la verite, 1693.
Apart from the adoption by Hume of the association of ideas as the explanatory formula of the school - it had been allowed by Malebranche within the framework of his mysticism and employed by Berkeley in his theory of vision - there are few fresh notes struck in the logic of sensationalism.
A generation later the French Oratory became the home of Malebranche and of Richard Simon, father of Biblical criticism.
" Truth, " as Malebranche quaintly says, " always has a few hairs on her chin "; and the conclusions of sound learning must needs be slow, fragmentary and tentative.
Renouvier was the first Frenchman after Malebranche to formulate a complete idealistic system, and had a vast influence on the development of French thought.
He became a favourite disciple of Bossuet, and at the bishop's instance undertook to refute certain metaphysical errors of Father Malebranche.
It seems certain that these conclusions were independent of Berkeley and Malebranche, and were not drawn from Arthur Collier's Clavis universalis (1713), with which they have much in common, but were suggested, in part at least, by Locke's doctrine of ideas, Newton's theory of colours, and Cudworth's Platonism, with all of which Edwards was early familiar.
Their chief contributions to thought were Cudworth's theory of the "plastic nature" of God, More's elaborate mysticism, Norris's appreciation of Malebranche, Glanvill's conception of scepticism as an aid to Faith, and, in a less degree, the harmony of Faith and Reason elaborated by Culverwel.
Their chief authorities were Plato and the Neo-platonists (between whom they made no adequate distinction), and among modern philosophers, Descartes, Malebranche and Boehme.
But there is no mention of Malebranche, whose Recherche de la verite had appeared three years before, nor of Arnauld, the illustrious rival of Malebranche.
John Norris, the metaphysical rector of Bemerton and English disciple of Malebranche,, criticized it in 1690.
(5) An Examination of Father Malebranche's Opinion of Seeing all Things in God (1706, posthumous).
(6) Remarks upon Some of Mr Norris's Books, wherein he asserts Father Malebranche's Opinion of Seeing all Things in God (1720, posthumous).
Malebranche, Thomassin, Mascaron and Massillon were members of the famous branch established in Paris in 1611 by Berulle (after cardinal), which had a great success and a distinguished history.
Reid and Malebranche first attracted him among the philosophers, and after these he turned to Hegel, Kant and Herder.
Malebranche himself maintains that his view of God follows from divine infinity, which of course has a scriptural basis.
But this doctrine was a criticism and a divergence, no less than a consequence, from the principles in Descartes; and it brought upon Malebranche the opposition, not merely of the Cartesian physicists, but also of Arnauld, Fenelon and Bossuet, who found, or hoped to find, in the Meditations, as properly understood, an ally for theology.
Popular enthusiasm, however, was with Malebranche, as twenty years before it had been with Descartes; he was the fashion of the day; and his disciples rapidly increased both in France and abroad.
4 " Cependant, pour revenir aux formes ordinaires ou aux Ames materielles, cette duree qu'il leur faut attribuer, a la place de celle qu'on avoit attribuee aux atomes pourroit faire douter si elles ne vont pas de corps en corps; ce qui seroit la metempsychose, a peu pros comme quelques philosophes ont cru la transmission du mouvement hypothesis of monads, and by Nicholas Malebranche; while, in the middle of the r8th century, not only speculative considerations, but a great number of new and interesting observations on the phenomena of generation, led the ingenious Charles Bonnet and A.
Of more or less isolated thinkers may be mentioned Francois de la Mothe le Vayer (1588-1672), whose Cinq Dialogues appeared after his death under the pseudonym of Orosius Tubero; Samuel Sorbiere (1615-1670), who translated the Hypotyposes Pyrrhoneae of Sextus Empiricus; Simon Foucher (1644-1696), canon of Dijon, who wrote a History of the Academics, and combated Descartes and Malebranche from a sceptical standpoint.
Locke took no notice at the time, but his second winter at Otes was partly employed in An Examination of Malebranche's Opinion of Seeing all Things in God, and in Remarks upon some of Mr Norris's Books, tracts which throw light upon his own ambiguous theory of perception through the senses.
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