Nicolas Malebranche and Bernard Lamy: two perspectives on imagination

Author/s Radu Toderici
Publishing Year 2012 Issue 2012/4
Language French Pages 14 P. 745-758 File size 491 KB
DOI 10.3280/SF2012-004006
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In an attempt to trace the historical origins of Malebranche’s reputation as an opponent of imagination, mainly in connection with style and eloquence, the author of this paper maintains that most of the arguments subsequently used against Malebranche may already be found in Bernard Lamy’s La Rhétorique ou l’art de parler. Although Lamy might have been influenced by Malebranche, his approach to the use of passions and imagination relies rather on a theory of language and communication (arguably drawing on Cordemoy and Mersenne) than on Malebranche’s account of the physiological effects of imagination. Therefore, the opposing views of Malebranche and Lamy on this question could be seen as premises for the French debates on the right and wrong use of the imaginative faculty that emerged at the turn of the 17th century.

Keywords: Nicolas Malebranche, Bernard Lamy Marin Mersenne, imagination, language

Radu Toderici, Nicolas Malebranche et Bernard Lamy: deux perspectives sur l’imagination in "RIVISTA DI STORIA DELLA FILOSOFIA" 4/2012, pp 745-758, DOI: 10.3280/SF2012-004006