Bijdragen 62 (4):393-413 (2001)
AbstractThe error is the real cause of the misery of man. This is the main thesis of Malebranche’s Magnum Opus The Research of Truth. In this paper the Cartesian background of this thesis is examined. I demonstrate that Malebranche translates Descartes’s idea of the error to a theological level, where it is called the fall. After a survey of the ideas of the error according to Descartes and the fall according to Malebranche, I compare the two thinkers on the theme’s of the suspension of prejudices, the unreliability of the senses, scepticism, in which their vision’s agree, and the theme’s of the lumen naturale and the idea of God, in which their vision’s differ. In a concluding part I examine the Cartesian/Malebranchistic solution for the state of man in the fall, which unveils the philosophical structure of the religious conversion.
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