Talk:Nicolas Malebranche

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Socrates[edit]

The article says that he studied Socrates, but from the context I think it is more likely that Socrates Scholasticus is meant. I am by no means an authority so I can't be sure. Any thoughts? F1list 08:55, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

His views[edit]

This article says virtually nothing about his views. They must be of some consequence aside from their similarities to Descartes and Spinoza. Ideas in the mind of God could be its own wiki!

Malebranche and Spinoza[edit]

According to User:Byzantinelcons, who deleted it, the following passage is unnecessary. It may be, on the contrary, that it succinctly expresses the very essence of Malebranche's philosophy in 56 words. Readers who complain, as is shown above, about the absence of information on his views, would surely benefit from such a short, direct, and profound comment on the views of Malebranche and their effect on a major philosopher like Spinoza.Lestrade 15:33, 27 September 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

"According to Schopenhauer, Malebranche had a definite influence on Spinoza:"

[Malebranche] teaches that we see all things in God himself. This is certainly equivalent to explaining something unknown by something even more unknown. Moreover, according to him, we see not only all things in God, but God is also the sole activity therein, so that physical causes are so only apparently; they are merely occasional causes. (Recherches de la vérité, Livre VI, seconde partie, chap. 3.) And so here we have essentially the pantheism of Spinoza who appears to have learned more from Malebranche than from Descartes.

Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena, Vol. I, "Sketch of a History of the Doctrine of the Ideal and the Real"

The comment might be short and direct, but it's incorrect. De La Recherche De La Verite, Malebranche's first book, was published in 1674-5, by which time Spinoza's Ethica (posthumously published in 1677) was already complete. There's no evidence of any correspondence between them, so Malebranche couldn't possibly have influenced Spinoza. In any case, Malebranche's system was not pantheistic, and he expressly rejected any connections with Spinoza's system in his 1713-14 correspondence with Dortous de Mairan. Even if the Schopenhauer comment was accurate, I still can't see any good reason for its inclusion: but the simple fact is that it's not accurate.Hce1132 22:26, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
So the only incorrect part of the comment is the postulation of influence? That's just the final clause, and even there, Schopenhauer was careful to say that it "appears" this is the case -- a qualifying word. The bulk of the comment remains an acute summary, and criticism, of the views that Malebranche and Spinoza share, and that in the case of the latter take a more explciitly pantheistic form. Furthermore, Schopenhauer is notable in himself, so his understanding of Malebranche may be worth including even if one could argue that it was mistaken. --Christofurio 23:57, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
There are essentially three components to the quotation. First, a statement of Malebranche's own views: but this seems redundant, as it's simply a repetition of what's already been said in the article. Second, the claim that he was "explaining something unknown by something even more unknown". That could conceivably warrant inclusion as a criticism of Malebranche from, as you say, a notable philosopher: but, if it is included, I'd have thought it should be accompanied by the rejoinder that, from Malebranche's own point of view, the structure of the divine ideas and our intellectual and perceptual union therewith was anything but unknown. Third, the link with Spinoza: but not only was there (as I already noted) no influence there, but it's also worth observing that neither occasionalism nor vision in God, in anything like a Malebranchean form, is to be found in Spinoza. Hce1132 22:28, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Encyclopaedia Britannica?[edit]

Does anyone know how to remove that statement that "This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain." As far as I can tell, this is no longer true. They don't seem to have a single sentence in common, if even a single phrase. And yet I also can't figure out how to get the article removed from this category. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Hce1132 (talkcontribs) 13:48, 22 December 2006 (UTC).

Sorry, I forgot to sign that. Hce1132 13:50, 22 December 2006 (UTC)


I've figured it out. I've also removed the following:

Malebranche is quoted by the character Hulga in Flannery O'Connor's short story "Good Country People" as having said "We are not our own light."

I feel that Wikipedia's own guidelines themselves put the point better than I could myself: Wikipedia is not a collection of trivia. Hce1132 20:36, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

For the above comment, it may be of interest to note the extensive influence that Malebrache had on O'Connor, who was a professing and deeply-religious Catholic, and many of her writings, especially in light of the Church's condemnation of Malebrache as a heritic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.161.73.240 (talk) 03:15, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I, for one, came to this page from reading O'Connor's "Good Country People" and I thank you for talking about her interest in Malebranche here. I suppose it would be a little much if it was in the main article. Enderandpeter (talk) 20:39, 20 May 2009 (UTC)