The Most Dangerous Error: Malebranche on the Experience of Causation

Philosophers' Imprint 21 (10) (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Do the senses represent causation? Many commentators read Nicolas Malebranche as anticipating David Hume’s negative answer to this question. I disagree with this assessment. When a yellow billiard ball strikes a red billiard ball, Malebranche holds that we see the yellow ball as causing the red ball to move. Given Malebranche’s occasionalism, he insists that the visual experience of causal interaction is illusory. Nevertheless, Malebranche holds that the senses represent finite things as causally efficacious. This experience of creaturely causality explains why Aristotelian philosophers and others struggle to recognize occasionalism’s truth.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Occasionalism and general will in Malebranche.Steven M. Nadler - 1993 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 31 (1):31-47.
Malebranche (review).Antonia LoLordo - 2006 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44 (1):124-125.
Malebranche and ideas.Steven M. Nadler - 1992 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Malebranche on Sensory Cognition and "Seeing As".Lawrence Nolan - 2012 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 50 (1):21-52.
Aquinas, Suarez, and Malebranche on Instrumental Causation and Premotion.Louis A. Mancha Jr - 2012 - International Philosophical Quarterly 52 (3):335-353.
Malebranche on the Metaphysics and Epistemology of Particular Volitions.Julie Walsh & Eric Stencil - 2016 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 54 (2):227-255.
Causality and Human Freedom in Malebranche.Fred Ablondi - 1996 - Philosophy and Theology 9 (3-4):321-331.
5 Malebranche on Causation.Steven Nadler - 2000 - In The Cambridge companion to Malebranche. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 112.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-07-08

Downloads
677 (#24,871)

6 months
114 (#35,822)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Colin Chamberlain
University College London

Citations of this work

Nicolas Malebranche.Tad Schmaltz - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Hume.Barry Stroud - 2016 - Philosophical Review 125 (4):597-601.
The visual experience of causation.Susanna Siegel - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):519-540.
The search after truth.Nicolas Malebranche - 1991 - In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Early Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.
Berkeley's revolution in vision.Margaret Atherton - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

View all 40 references / Add more references