David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (3):689-712 (2014)
Like their contemporary counterparts, early modern philosophers find themselves in a predicament. On one hand, there are strong reasons to deny that sensations are representations. For there seems to be nothing in the world for them to represent. On the other hand, some sensory representations seem to be required for us to experience bodies. How else could one perceive the boundaries of a body, except by means of different shadings of color? I argue that Nicolas Malebranche offers an extreme -- and ultimately unworkable -- attempt to solve this riddle. Most commentators claim that Malebranche defends an adverbial theory of sensation, according to which a sensation is merely a way in which an act of sensing happens. The adverbial reading is wrong, or so I argue. Once we arrive at a more accurate reading, we shall see that his position is much more strange than is currently thought. Nevertheless, Malebranche’s view is similar to the adverbial theory in one respect, albeit it at a very high level of generality. His view thus inherits two of the main problems that afflict adverbial theories. Although Malebranche fails to solve them, his ingenious attempts to do so are instructive
|Keywords||Malebranche sensation intentionality representation|
|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
Laurence BonJour, Epistemological Problems of Perception. Stanford Online Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Laurence BonJour (2004). In Search of Direct Realism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (2):349-367.
John Cottingham (2000). And the Objects of Thought. In Tim Crane & Sarah Patterson (eds.), History of the Mind-Body Problem. New York: Routledge. 131.
René Descartes (1984). The Philosophical Writings of Descartes. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
N. Jolley (1995). Sensation, Intentionality, and Animal Consciousness. Ratio 8 (2):128-42.
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.
Jordan Taylor (2013). Emotional Sensations and the Moral Imagination in Malebranche. In H. Martyn Lloyd (ed.), The Discourse of Sensibility: The Knowing Body in the Enlightenment. Springer.
Steven M. Nadler (1992). Malebranche and Ideas. Oxford University Press.
Lawrence Nolan (2012). Malebranche on Sensory Cognition and "Seeing As". Journal of the History of Philosophy 50 (1):21-52.
Nathaniel Bowditch (2010). Malebranche. International Philosophical Quarterly 50 (3):363-382.
Steven M. Nadler (ed.) (2000). The Cambridge Companion to Malebranche. Cambridge University Press.
Fred Ablondi (1996). Causality and Human Freedom in Malebranche. Philosophy and Theology 9 (3-4):321-331.
Andrew Pyle (2003). Malebranche. Routledge.
Sukjae Lee (2007). Passive Natures and No Representations: Malebranche’s Two “Local” Arguments for Occasionalism. The Harvard Review of Philosophy 15 (1):72-91.
Andrew Pessin (2000). Malebranche's Natural Theodicy and the Incompleteness of God's Volitions. Religious Studies 36 (1):47-63.
Tad M. Schmaltz (1996). Malebranche's Theory of the Soul: A Cartesian Interpretation. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2012-02-26
Total downloads312 ( #1,471 of 1,679,339 )
Recent downloads (6 months)60 ( #1,444 of 1,679,339 )
How can I increase my downloads?