<biography, history of philosophy> french priest and philosopher (1638-1715). As a leading Cartesian, Malebranche argued in De la Recherche de la Ve/rite/ (The Search after Truth) (1675) and Entretiens sur la mÈtaphysique et sur la religion (Dialogues on Metaphysics and on Religion) (1688) that our ideas provide no direct, certain knowledge of bodies, but that instead we "see all things in god." This divinely ordained occasionalism provided for the apparent regularity of the natural world without appealing to any genuine causal interaction among things. Malebranche's explanation of the imperfection of a divinely-created universe in the TraitÈ de la nature et de la grace (Treatise on Nature and Grace) (1680) and other theological writings influenced the theodicy of Leibniz. Recommended Reading: Nicolas Malebranche, Oeuvres Completes (French & European, 1978); Patricia Easton, Thomas M. Lennon, and Gregor Sebba, Bibliographia Malebranchiana: A Critical Guide to the Malebranche Literature into 1989 (Southern Illinois, 1992); Nicholas Jolley, The Light of the Soul: Theories of Ideas in Leibniz, Malebranche, and Descartes (Clarendon, 1998); and The Cambridge Companion to Malebranche, ed. by Steven M. Nadler (Cambridge, 2000).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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