Malebranche and his Heirs

Journal of the History of Ideas 38 (4):673 (1977)
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F alquie has shown that, contrary to malebranche's own intention, his main influence in france was in the direction of deism. yet in england malebranche appealed to devout christians and greatly influenced the platonist john norris. why was his influence so different in the two countries? mainly, the author suggests, because norris was attracted by malebranche's central thesis of man's direct vision of the divine ideas, whereas the french enlightenment was influenced by theses which were less central to malebranche but more in accord with the spirit of the age, involving the extension of mechanistic types of explanation to the spiritual sphere



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