De la recherche de la verité. Arnauld’s description, often repeated, of the vision of God as the ramblings of a "visionary" is most often viewed as a term that backfires on Malebranche himself coming from his criticism of the errors of the imagination in the second book of The Search after Truth. To defend him, the follower of Malebranche then no longer has any other choice than to widen the gap between pure knowledge and the effects from the fact that, since the Fall, the union of the soul with God has turned into a dependence of the soul upon the body. This article suggests that, on the contrary, an authentically Malebranchian meaning can be given to Arnauld’s criticism by articulating rather than dissociating Malebranche’s denunciation of the imagination’s perversion and his adversaries’ criticism of the foundations of his theory of knowledge. What results is both clarifying and edifying: if more or less in every man we find a lycanthrope, that is to say, a man that takes the visions of his imaginations for reality, it is precisely because ever since original sin, a "pure" vision of God has become practically impossible. Reestablishing the lost connection between Books II and III of The Search after Truth thus, in the same movement, restores the anthropological foundations of Malebranche’s philosophy.
Keywords: Anthropology, error, history of ideas, imagination, madness, Malebranche, vision of God