David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The rich connections between metaphysics and natural philosophy in the early modern period have been widely acknowledged and productively mined, thanks in no small part to the work of Margaret Wilson, whose book, Descartes, served as an inspirational example for a generation of scholars. The task of this paper is to investigate one particular such connection, namely, the relation between occasionalist metaphysics and strict mechanism. My focus will be on the work of Nicholas Malebranche, the most influential Cartesian philosopher after Descartes himself. I begin with two crucial facts about Malebranche’s philosophy: (1) Malebranche was an occasionalist, that is, he held that God was the only true cause, that all modifications of bodies and of minds can be produced by God alone. (2) Malebranche adhered firmly to strict mechanism. By strict mechanism, I mean the view, found most prominently in Descartes and in Boyle’s more ideological writings, that the qualities of bodies are exhausted by a very short list (size, shape, motion, and perhaps solidity) and that, most importantly, bodies interact only at contact by impact. Another way of describing this “contact action” requirement is as the thesis that the only fundamental laws of physics are laws of inertial motion and laws of the communication of motion at impact. In..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Antonia Lolordo (2005). Descartes and Malebranche on Thought, Sensation and the Nature of the Mind. Journal of the History of Philosophy 43 (4):387-402.
Steven M. Nadler (ed.) (2000). The Cambridge Companion to Malebranche. Cambridge University Press.
Alan Baker (2005). Malebranche's Occasionalism. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 79 (2):251-272.
Andrew Pyle (2003). Malebranche. Routledge.
Fred Ablondi (1996). Causality and Human Freedom in Malebranche. Philosophy and Theology 9 (3-4):321-331.
Tad M. Schmaltz (2008). Occasionalism and Mechanism: Fontenelle's Objections to Malebranche. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (2):293 – 313.
Walter Ott (2008). Régis's Scholastic Mechanism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (1):2-14.
Fred Ablondi (2008). François Lamy, Occasionalism, and the Mind-Body Problem. Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (4):pp. 619-629.
Added to index2010-05-28
Total downloads41 ( #41,421 of 1,101,679 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #292,019 of 1,101,679 )
How can I increase my downloads?