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Eric Stencil
Utah Valley University
  1.  71
    Essence and Possibility in the Leibniz‐Arnauld Correspondence.Eric Stencil - 2016 - 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. Antoine Arnauld.Eric Stencil - 2013 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
     
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  3.  67
    Malebranche and the General Will of God.Eric Stencil - 2011 - 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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  4.  31
    Arnauld, Power, and the Fallibility of Infallible Determination.Eric Stencil & Julie Walsh - 2016 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 33 (3):237-256.
    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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  5.  45
    Arnauld's God Reconsidered.Eric Stencil - 2019 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 36 (1):19-38.
    In this paper, I defend a novel interpretation of Antoine Arnauld’s conception of God, namely a ‘partially hidden’ conception of God. I focus on divine simplicity and whether God acts for reasons. I argue that Arnauld holds the view that: God, God’s action and God’s attributes are (i) identical, and (ii) conceptually distinct, but that (iii) there are no conceptual priorities among them. Next, I argue that Arnauld’s view about whether God has any type of reasons is agnosticism, but that (...)
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  6.  12
    Arnauld's Silence on the Creation of the Eternal Truths.Eric Stencil - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (4):445-470.
    In the latter half of the 17th century, Antoine Arnauld was a public and private defender of many of the central tenets of Cartesianism. Yet, one issue on which he is surprisingly silent is René Descartes’ claim that God freely created the eternal truths (the Creation Doctrine). Despite Arnauld’s evasion of the issue, whether he holds the Creation Doctrine is one of the most contested issues in Arnauld scholarship. In this paper I offer an interpretation of Arnauld’s position. I argue (...)
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  7. Causation & Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy (Review).Eric Stencil - 2010 - 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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  8. Descartes' Deontological Turn: Reason, Will, and Virtue in the Later Writings.Eric Stencil - 2011 - 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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  9.  37
    Malebranche on the Metaphysics and Epistemology of Particular Volitions.Julie Walsh & Eric Stencil - 2016 - 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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  10.  27
    The Protestant and the Pelagian.Julie Walsh & Eric Stencil - 2019 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 93 (3):497-526.
    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 (...)
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