Eric Stencil
Utah Valley University
Julie Walsh
Wellesley College
One of the longest and most acrimonious polemics in the history of philosophy is between Antoine Arnauld and Nicolas Malebranche. Their central disagreements are over the nature of ideas, theodicy, and, the topic of this paper, grace. We offer the most in-depth English language treatment of their discussion of grace to date. Our focus is one particular aspect of the polemic: the power of finite agents to assent to grace. We defend two theses. First, we show that as the debate progresses, the differences between Arnauld and Malebranche become, surprisingly, less pronounced—despite mutual accusations of Pelagianism and Calvinism. Our second thesis is developed to explain the outcome of the first. We argue that the employment of different methodologies to interrogate the relationship between efficacious grace and human power prohibits any possibility of reconciliation between Arnauld and Malebranche.
Keywords Nicolas Malebrance  Antoine Arnauld  Freedom  Grace
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ISBN(s) 1051-3558
DOI 10.5840/acpq2019521183
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