The Inauthenticity of Pagan Virtue II
This chapter considers the critique of pagan virtue by a number of thinkers inspired by St Augustine, many, but not all, of whom were supporters of Jansenius. Among the Jansenists, Antoine Arnauld attacks Le Vayer’s suggestion that explicit faith in Christ is not necessary for salvation and defends the claim that all unbelievers’ actions are sins, since by definition they are not prompted by the love of God. Pascal agrees that philosophical (in particular Stoic) virtue leads to pride: love of God is the soul of Christian virtue, which far transcends the virtues of the pagans and Pharisees. Martin de Barcos restates the hard-line Augustinian position at length; Nicole, however, puts forward a more moderate view, dissenting from Jansenius on this point. Malebranche, not a Jansenist, provides an original approach to the issues. Fénelon and Leibniz are briefly discussed.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.