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Profile: Eric Stencil (Utah Valley University)
  1.  20
    Eric Stencil (2016). Essence and Possibility in the Leibniz‐Arnauld Correspondence. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (1):2-26.
    In the 1680s, Gottfried Leibniz and Antoine Arnauld engaged in a philosophically rich correspondence. One issue they discuss is modal metaphysics – questions concerning necessity, possibility, and essence. While Arnauld's contributions to the correspondence are considered generally astute, his contributions on this issue have not always received a warm treatment. I argue that Arnauld's criticisms of Leibniz are sophisticated and that Arnauld offers his own Cartesian account in its place. In particular, I argue that Arnauld offers an account of possibility (...)
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  2. Eric Stencil (2011). Descartes' Deontological Turn: Reason, Will, and Virtue in the Later Writings. Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (4):496-497.
    In this book, Noa Naaman-Zauderer explores the deontological and non-consequentialist dimensions of Descartes’ later writings. Focusing on the role of the will, she argues that Descartes considers the correct use of free will as not merely a means to some other end, but “an end in its own right” (1). She further argues that for Descartes, the role of reason is to govern the “right use” of free will rather than to distinguish truth from falsity (2). Naaman-Zauderer follows Descartes’ deontological (...)
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  3. Eric Stencil (2010). Causation & Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (4):524-526.
    In Causation & Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy, Walter Ott offers us a fascinating account of the development of theories of causation and laws of nature in the early modern period. The central theme of the book traces the development of two approaches to causation in the period: the “top-down analysis” and the “bottom-up analysis.” According to the former approach, the laws of nature are not “fixed by the natures of the objects they govern.” Rather, the content of (...)
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  4.  3
    Julie Walsh & Eric Stencil (2016). Malebranche on the Metaphysics and Epistemology of Particular Volitions. Journal of the History of Philosophy 54 (2):227-255.
    among nicolas malebranche’s most influential contributions to philosophy are his defense of occasionalism, his highly original theodicy, and his philosophical method elaborated in greatest detail in his magnum opus De la Recherche de la vérité. In his account of occasionalism, Malebranche argues that finite things have no causal power and that God is the only true causal agent. Malebranche’s theodicy—his attempt to reconcile the existence of evil in the world with the existence of an all-good and all-powerful God—is most thoroughly (...)
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  5.  39
    Eric Stencil (2011). Malebranche and the General Will of God. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (6):1107 - 1129.
    Central to Nicolas Malebranche?s theodicy is the distinction between general volitions and particular volitions. One of the fundamental claims of his theodicy is that although God created a world with suffering and evil, God does not will these things by particular volitions, but only by general volitions. Commentators disagree about how to interpret Malebranche?s distinction. According to the ?general content? interpretation, the difference between general volitions and particular volitions is a difference in content. General volitions have general laws as their (...)
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  6.  8
    Eric Stencil, Antoine Arnauld. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  7. Eric Stencil & Julie Walsh (forthcoming). Arnauld, Power, and the Fallibility of Infallible Determination. History of Philosophy Quarterly.
    Antoine Arnauld is well known as a passionate defender of Jansenism, specifically Jansen’s view on the relation between freedom and grace. Jansen and, early in his career Arnauld, advance compatibilist views of human freedom. The heart of their theories is that salvation depends on both the irresistible grace of God and the free acts of created things. Yet, in Arnauld’s mature writings, his position on freedom seems to undergo a significant shift. And, by 1689, his account of freedom no longer (...)
     
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