Who is Nicholas Malebranche?

Who is Nicholas Malebranche?

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

Nicholas Malebranche was a French philosopher who lived from 1638 to 1715. Malebranche adhered to the philosophy of Descartes, which he saw as the true Christian philosophy, and, like Geulincx, emphasized the mind-body relationship.

As it is defined by two different essences, it is evident that God has put ideas on the soul by using bodily processes as a means or a cause, regarding the mind-body relationship, two substances that have no common point between them and therefore cannot be connected to each other. He developed the occationalist view, which argues that the bond is established with the intervention of God.

According to Malebranche, who says that to be a real cause is to be a creative causal force, no human being can be creative. Moreover, God has not transferred the power of creation to man. So there is only one true cause and that is God.

The logical conclusion of his view of causality, which is very similar to Hume’s, is the conclusion that “we see everything in God, since objects in the external world cannot produce an idea or thought in us, so all our ideas come from God. When we know something, God According to Malebranche, who says that we know the ideas in the mind of God, it is God who gives us the opportunity to know something by enlightening us.

French philosopher and cleric. He argued that God is the only effective principle and the only real cause in the universe, and that everything is seen in God.

He was born on 6 August 1638 in Paris and died on 13 October 1715 in the same city. He studied first at the College de la Marche and then at the Sorbonne University. He entered the Augustinian order of the Oratoire. He became a priest in 1664. He began to study the works of Descartes, which he greatly influenced. As a result of these studies, his De la recherche de la verite (The Search for Truth) was published in 1674. This book, which attracted great attention, was translated into other languages ​​and started written discussions between the leading thinkers of the time and Malebranche. Although its aim was to make Descartes’ views more religious, the church excluded itself and included his works on the list of forbidden books. Malebranche, who was also accused of Spinozaism, tried to clarify the issues in which his views differed from those of Spinoza in some of his correspondences. Leibniz, on the other hand, saw that his thoughts on the intellect were incompatible with the reasoning in Malebranche, and he showed his mistakes by criticizing his views on the laws of motion.

Malebranche is considered one of the greatest philosophers in 17th century philosophy after Descartes in France. As with the general philosophers of this century, Malebranche’s philosophical starting point was the concept of “substance” based on Descartes’ philosophy. He took the Cartesian philosophical trend, called occasionalism, to its last logical limits. Malebranche separates the material from the spiritual and says that it is God who makes them related.

Also, the root cause of all activity is eternal substance, that is, God. A true philosophy accepts the validity of this single cause and works accordingly. Accordingly, human knowledge is neither related to the subject itself nor the object itself, it is God who places knowledge directly in the soul. The basis of knowledge is therefore to know our own consciousness, namely God. The only clear and distinct design is God, and therefore our clear and distinct knowledge of our own existence comes from knowing ourselves as part of infinite substance.

Thus, all kinds of knowledge can be explained as God’s light within us. Malebranche’s metaphysical view grounds both his theory of knowledge and his understanding of ethics. According to this understanding of ethics, the ultimate goal of all our wills is God. Our demands (right and proper demands) are part of the love of God. Happiness and virtue is to forget this world and to want to find and know the eternal substance. In addition to Descartes’ philosophy, it is possible to see the influence of Augustine in Malebranche. In these thoughts, which are a kind of fusion of knowledge of God and knowledge of man, it is possible to arrive at both rationalism and mysticism. Malebranche tries to achieve a synthesis by combining both ways.

Malebranche gave himself to reflection and solitude at a young age. While working in a cult called the Oratorium, he met Descartes’ philosophy and was very impressed. Soon he will try to develop this teaching. Like Geulincx, he also believes that the link between Descartes’s concept of spirit and matter is provided by an occasion of God. These two cannot affect each other. Finite structures cannot affect each other. The result is that bodies cannot affect spirits, nor can they affect each other. Movement in bodies is a will of God. The only force acting in the universe is God. The human soul can neither perceive nor will it without the will of God. The only reason is God. Also, God puts all kinds of information in the soul, we cannot create any information ourselves.

It is God who puts all knowledge into the soul of man. Malebranche says: “We see everything in God.” God incarnate