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Le rien de la liberté : Malebranche et la philosophie de la volonté

Revue de Métaphysique Et de Morale 92 (4):473 - 502 (1987)
Dans l'histoire de la philosophie occidentale ce n'est que Kant qui parvient, en la dissociant des phénomènes de la nature, à donner à la liberté un statut métaphysique autonome. Or Malebranche anticipe Kant. Il distingue la volonté qui vient de Dieu de la liberté qui surgit de l'homme. La volonté est une force de quantité déterminée, la liberté est un rien qui n'ajoute rien à cette forme mais en détermine le mouvement. La liberté n'est rien car elle n'est pas elle-même une force, par conséquent, elle permet de fonder une réflexion morale autonome. Kant by separating freedom from the phenomena of nature endows it with an autonomous metaphysical status. Malebranche anticipates Kant. He distinguishes the will which comes from God and freedom which is from man. The will is a force of a given quantity, freedom is a nothing which does not increase or decrease this force but only determines its movement. Freedom is a nothing since it is not a force itself, thus it makes possible an autonomous moral philosophy.
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