Arnauld’s God

Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (4):pp. 517-538 (2008)
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In this paper, I argue that Arnauld’s conception of God is more radical than scholars have been willing to allow. It is not the case that, for Arnauld, God acts for reasons, with His will guided by wisdom (much as the God of Malebranche and Leibniz acts), albeit by a wisdom impenetrable to us. Arnauld’s objections to Malebranche are directed not only at the claim that God’s wisdom is transparent to human reason, but at the whole distinction between will and wisdom in God, even if that wisdom were “hidden.” Arnauld’s God, in fact, approaches the extreme voluntarist God of Descartes, and thus transcends practical rational agency altogether.



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Steven Nadler
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Citations of this work

Essence and Possibility in the Leibniz‐Arnauld Correspondence.Eric Stencil - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (1):2-26.
Malebranche and the General Will of God.Eric Stencil - 2011 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (6):1107-1129.
Arnauld's God Reconsidered.Eric Stencil - 2019 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 36 (1):19-38.

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