Malebranche on Intelligible Extension: A Programmatic Interpretation

Metaphysica: International Journal for Ontology and Metaphysics 21 (2):199-221 (2020)
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Abstract

The purpose of this essay is exegesis. I explicate Nicolas Malebranche's (1674, 1678, 1688, 1714) concept of intelligible extension. I begin by detailing how the concept matured throughout Malebranche's work, and the new functions it took on within his metaphysical system. I then examine Gustav Bergmann's “axiomatic” interpretation, as well as the criticism of it offered by Daise Radner. I argue that Radner's criticism of the interpretation is only partly successful; some of her objections can be met; others cannot. I then develop a novel interpretation of the concept, given insights from this dispute. I call it the “programmatic interpretation.” I argue that this interpretation coheres well with Malebranche's famous Vision in God thesis, as well as many of his other commitments. I conclude by considering a certain pertinent objection to my proposal, summarizing the dialectic, and forcefully restating my case.

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Andrew Dennis Bassford
University of Texas at Austin

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References found in this work

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
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Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man.Wilfrid S. Sellars - 1962 - In Robert Colodny (ed.), Science, Perception, and Reality. Humanities Press/Ridgeview. pp. 35-78.

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