Canadian Journal of Philosophy 30 (3):413-439 (2000)

Andrew Pessin
Connecticut College
‘God needs no instruments to act,’ Malebranche writes in Search 6.2.3; “it suffices that He wills in order that a thing be, because it is a contradiction that He should will and that what He wills should not happen. Therefore, His power is His will”. After nearly identical language in Treatise 1.12, Malebranche writes that “[God's] wills are necessarily efficacious … His power differs not at all from His will”. God exercises His causal power, here, via His volitions; what He causes depends not merely on the fact that He wills, but specifically on the content of His volitions, on “what He wills.” Yet despite the obviously key role the ordinary notion of volitional content plays for Malebranche, recent writers have paid surprisingly little attention either to it or its exegetical implications. I hope partly to rectify this situation here.The plan of this paper is this: to borrow current work in the philosophy of mind to sketch the notion of an incomplete volition, i.e. one whose content is ‘incomplete’ in a sense to be explained; to note that Malebranche accepts and uses something like this notion
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI 10.1080/00455091.2000.10717538
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References found in this work BETA

Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Force (God) in Descartes' Physics.Gary C. Hatfield - 1979 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 10 (2):113-140.

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Malebranche on Ideas.Andrew Pessin - 2004 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (2):241 - 285.

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