Tad M. Schmaltz

in Malebranche's Theory of the Soul

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780195103441
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833641 | DOI:

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In this chapter, Section 1 starts with a proof of the immortality of the soul in Descartes that provided the main source for Malebranche's discussions of immortality. Section 2 then examines two distinctive implications of Malebranche's own arguments for immortality, the first that we need to appeal to the idea of body to establish that the soul is an indivisible substance, and the second that we can demonstrate by reason that the soul is in fact immortal once we recognize the nature of the divine attributes. The second implication tends to be more dominant in Malebranche's treatments of immortality, but as is indicated in Section 3, the first implication is reflected also in a sophisticated but somewhat overlooked argument for the indestructibility or indefectibility of substance in the work of Malebranche's Cartesian contemporary, Robert Desgabets.

Keywords: Descartes; Desgabets; immortality; indestructibility; indivisibility; Malebranche; soul; substance

Chapter.  16082 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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