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modern philosophy, which Descartes thought he had definitively
interrupted, was renewed in the very first generation that followed
him, at the hands of his most illustrious successor. But
Malebranche did not make himself a slave to Plato as Scholasticism
had been subject to Aristotle. On the contrary, the mixture, or
rather blending, of these Platonic elements with the Cartesian
principles gave to Male- branche's doctrine an original flavor. The
great work on which Malebranche labored for ten years, and which
appeared in 1674, was entitled La Recherche de la Vtritt, or The
Search for Truth. To begin with, whoever undertakes such a search
is to make a careful distinction between rational evidence, the
only sign of truth, and the false light of the senses, which, in
spite of its apparent clearness, gives but deceitful information.
Our senses produce vivid impressions upon us, but do not enlighten
us. The light of reason, on the contrary, which seems cold, shows
us things as they really are. Therefore, we must close our bodily
eyes, and accustom ourselves to see only with our spiritual eyes.
This precept is often expressed in language which reminds us of
Plato. Socrates, in the Phcedo, represents the body as an element
of confusion and darkness, obfuscating the natural
clear-sightedness of the soul, which it subjects to gross and
deceitful appearances; it restricts the soul to an imperfect
reminiscence of the eternal realities, and is, in fact, a sort of
prison from which the wise man's soul yearns to be released.
Similarly, Malebranche speaks of the tumult of the senses which
prevents the soul from hearkening to the voice of reason. He then
passes on by imperceptible degrees from the Platonic to the
Christian point of view. The soul's subservience to the body
becomes a ...
General Books LLC
|Country of origin:
• Lucien L evy-Bruhl
||246 x 189 x 6mm (L x W x T)
||Paperback - Trade
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