Malebranche on Disinterestedness

Philosophy and Theology 21 (1/2):27-41 (2009)
Abstract
Nicolas Malebranche in the Treatise on the Love of God argues against the Quietists, who thought that the pure love of God required the extinction of self-interest, understood to include a stance of disinterestedness with regard to happiness, even to eternal happiness. Ipresent Malebranche’s essay as structured by contrasts the resolution of which Malebranche maintains leads to union with God, whichis love and happiness. By referring to several thinkers, past and present, I suggest alternative ways of thinking about God, love of God, and self-interest. I conclude that although Malebranche is in a long line of thinkers who hold that the object of the will is the good, and who equate this good with God, and God with happiness, and although he offers correctives to a too easy-going spirituality, certain theses that he defends are not in line with classical views of God and His attributes
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